- The NADPH oxidase producing-superoxide is the major mechanism by which phagocytes kill invading pathogens. The human myeloid cell line PLB-985 was transfected to express p85 cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) antisense mRNA and stable clones were selected which lack detectable cPLA2. cPLA2-deficient PLB-985 cells differentiate similarly to control PLB-985 cells in response to retinoic acid, DMSO or 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 indicating that cPLA2 is not involved in the differentiation process. Despite the normal synthesis of NADPH oxidase subunits during differentiation of cPLA2-deficient PLB-985 cells, these cells fail to activate NADPH oxidase in response to a variety of soluble and particulate stimuli, but addition of exogenous arachidonic acid (AA) fully restores oxidase activity. This establishes an essential requirement of cPLA2 generated AA for activation of phagocyte NADPH oxidase. In order to elucidate the mechanism by which cPLA2 regulates the oxidase, the role of cPLA2 in NADPH oxidase associated H+ channel was studied. Activation of differentiated PLB cells resulted in a Zn+2 sensitive alkalization, indicating H+ channel activity. In contrast, differentiated PLB-D cells failed to activate the H+ channel, but addition of exogenous AA fully restored this activity, indicating an essential and specific physiological requirement of cPLA2-generated AA for activation of the H+ channel. The presence of the H+ channel inhibitor, Zn+2, caused significant inhibition of NADPH oxidase activity, suggesting a role of the NADPH oxidase associated H+ channel in regulating oxidase activity.