The novel reductase NCB5OR (NADPH cytochrome b5 oxidoreductase) resides in the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) and may protect cells against ER stress. Levels of BiP (immunoglobulin heavy-chain-binding protein), CHOP (CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein) and XBP-1 (X-box-binding protein-1) did not differ in WT (wild-type) and KO (Ncb5or-null) tissues or MEFs (mouse embryonic fibroblasts), and XBP-1 remained unspliced. MEFs treated with inducers of ER stress demonstrated no change in Ncb5or expression and expression of ER-stress-induced genes was not enhanced. Induction of ER stress in beta-cell lines did not change Ncb5or expression or promoter activity. Transfection with Ncb5or-specific siRNA (small interfering RNA) yielded similar results. Microarray analysis of mRNA from islets and liver of WT and KO animals revealed no significant changes in ER-stress-response genes. Induction of oxidative stress in betaTC3 cells did not alter Ncb5or mRNA levels or promoter activity. However, KO islets were more sensitive to streptozotocin when compared with WT islets. MEFs incubated with nitric oxide donors showed no difference in cell viability or levels of nitrite produced. No significant differences in mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes were observed when comparing WT and KO tissues; however, microarray analysis of islets indicated slightly enhanced expression of some antioxidant enzymes in the KO islets. Short-term tBHQ (t-butylhydroquinone) treatment increased Ncb5or promoter activity, although longer incubation times yielded a dose-dependent decrease in activity. This response appears to be due to a consensus ARE (antioxidant-response element) present in the Ncb5or promoter. In summary, NCB5OR does not appear to be involved in ER stress, although it may be involved in maintaining or regulating the redox status in beta-cells.