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Coordinated NADPH oxidase/hydrogen peroxide functions regulate cutaneous sensory axon de- and regeneration

Cadiz Diaz A, Schmidt NA, Yamazaki M, Hsieh CJ, Lisse TS, Rieger S
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Jul 26;119(30):e2115009119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2115009119. Epub 2022 Jul 19
Tissue wounding induces cutaneous sensory axon regeneration via hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) that is produced by the epithelial NADPH oxidase, Duox1. Sciatic nerve injury instead induces axon regeneration through neuronal uptake of the NADPH oxidase, Nox2, from macrophages. We therefore reasoned that the tissue environment in which axons are damaged stimulates distinct regenerative mechanisms. Here, we show that cutaneous axon regeneration induced by tissue wounding depends on both neuronal and keratinocyte-specific mechanisms involving H2O2 signaling. Genetic depletion of H2O2 in sensory neurons abolishes axon regeneration, whereas keratinocyte-specific H2O2 depletion promotes axonal repulsion, a phenotype mirrored in duox1 mutants. Intriguingly, cyba mutants, deficient in the essential Nox subunit, p22Phox, retain limited axon regenerative capacity but display delayed Wallerian degeneration and axonal fusion, observed so far only in invertebrates. We further show that keratinocyte-specific oxidation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) at a conserved cysteine thiol (C797) serves as an attractive cue for regenerating axons, leading to EGFR-dependent localized epidermal matrix remodeling via the matrix-metalloproteinase, MMP-13. Therefore, wound-induced cutaneous axon de- and regeneration depend on the coordinated functions of NADPH oxidases mediating distinct processes following injury.
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