NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) is highly expressed in kidney proximal tubular cells. NOX4 constitutively produces hydrogen peroxide, which may regulate important pro-survival pathways. Renal ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is a classical model mimicking human ischemic acute tubular necrosis. We hypothesized that NOX4 plays a protective role in kidney IRI. In wild type (WT) animals subjected to IRI, NOX4 protein expression increased after 24 hours. NOX4 KO (knock-out) and WT littermates mice were subjected to IRI. NOX4 KO mice displayed decreased renal function and more severe tubular apoptosis, decreased Bcl-2 expression and higher histologic damage scores compared to WT. Activation of NRF2 was decreased in NOX4 KO mice in response to IRI. This was related to decreased KEAP1 oxidation leading to decreased NRF2 stabilization. This resulted in decreased glutathione levels. In vitro silencing of NOX4 in cells showed an enhanced propensity to apoptosis, with reduced expression of NRF2, glutathione content and Bcl-2 expression, similar to cells derived from NOX4 KO mice. Overexpression of a constitutively active form of NRF2 (caNRF2) in NOX4 depleted cells rescued most of this phenotype in cultured cells, implying that NRF2 regulation by ROS issued from NOX4 may play an important role in its anti-apoptotic property.