• Title, Summary, Keyword: Nrf2

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Dysregulation of NRF2 in Cancer: from Molecular Mechanisms to Therapeutic Opportunities

  • Jung, Byung-Jin;Yoo, Hwan-Sic;Shin, Sooyoung;Park, Young-Joon;Jeon, Sang-Min
    • Biomolecules & Therapeutics
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    • v.26 no.1
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    • pp.57-68
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    • 2018
  • Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (NRF2) plays an important role in redox metabolism and antioxidant defense. Under normal conditions, NRF2 proteins are maintained at very low levels because of their ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation via binding to the kelch-like ECH associated protein 1 (KEAP1)-E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. However, oxidative and/or electrophilic stresses disrupt the KEAP1-NRF2 interaction, which leads to the accumulation and transactivation of NRF2. During recent decades, a growing body of evidence suggests that NRF2 is frequently activated in many types of cancer by multiple mechanisms, including the genetic mutations in the KEAP1-NRF2 pathway. This suggested that NRF2 inhibition is a promising strategy for cancer therapy. Recently, several NRF2 inhibitors have been reported with anti-tumor efficacy. Here, we review the mechanisms whereby NRF2 is dysregulated in cancer and its contribution to the tumor development and radiochemoresistance. In addition, among the NRF2 inhibitors reported so far, we summarize and discuss repurposed NRF2 inhibitors with their potential mechanisms and provide new insights to develop selective NRF2 inhibitors.

An Important Role of Nrf2-ARE Pathway in the Cellular Defense Mechanism

  • Lee, Jong-Min;Johnson, Jeffrey A.
    • BMB Reports
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    • v.37 no.2
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    • pp.139-143
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    • 2004
  • The antioxidant responsive element (ARE) is a cis-acting regulatory element of genes encoding phase II detoxification enzymes and antioxidant proteins, such as NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1, glutathione S-transferases, and glutamate-cysteine ligase. Interestingly, it has been reported that Nrf2 (NF-E2-related factor 2) regulates a wide array of ARE-driven genes in various cell types. Nrf2 is a basic leucine zipper transcription factor, which was originally identified as a binding protein of locus control region of ss-globin gene. The DNA binding sequence of Nrf2 and ARE sequence are very similar, and many studies demonstrated that Nrf2 binds to the ARE sites leading to up-regulation of downstream genes. The function of Nrf2 and its downstream target genes suggests that the Nrf2-ARE pathway is important in the cellular antioxidant defense system. In support of this, many studies showed a critical role of Nrf2 in cellular protection and anti-carcinogenicity, implying that the Nrf2-ARE pathway may serve as a therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases and cancers, in which oxidative stress is closely implicated.

Accelerated DNA Adduct Formation in the Lung of the Nrf2 Knockout Mouse Exposed to Diesel Exhaust

  • Aoki, Yasunobu;Sato, Hiromi;Nishimura, Noriko;Takahashi, Satoru;Itoh, Ken;Yamamoto, Masayuki
    • Proceedings of the Korea Environmental Mutagen Society Conference
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    • pp.36-42
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    • 2002
  • Diesel exhaust (DE) has been recognized as a noxious mutagen and/or carcinogen, because its components can form DNA adducts. Mechanisms governing the susceptibility to DE and the efficiency of such DNA adduct formation require clarification. The transcription factor Nrf2 is essential for inducible and/or constitutive expression of a group of detoxification and antioxidant enzymes, and we hypothesized that the nrf2 gene knockout mouse might serve as an excellent model system for analyzing DE toxicity. To address this hypothesis, lungs from nrf2(-/-) and nrf2(+/-) mice were examined for the production of xenobiotic-DNA adducts after exposure to DE (3 $mg/m^{3}$ suspended particulate matter) for 4 weeks. Whereas the relative adduct levels (RAL) were significantly increased in the lungs of both nrf2(+/-) and nrf2(-/-) mice upon exposure to DE, the increase of RAL in the lungs from nrf2(-/-) mice exposed to DE were approximately 2.3-fold higher than that of nrf2(+/-) mite exposed to DE. In contrail, cytochrome P4501Al mRNA levels in the nrf2(-/-)mouse lungs were similar to those in the nrf2(+/-) mouse lungs even after exposure to DE, suggesting that suppressed activity of phase II drug-metabolizing enzymes is important in giving ise to the increased level of DNA adducts in the Nrf2-null mutant mouse subjected to DE. Importantly, severe hyperplasia and accumulation of the oxidative DNA adduct 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine were observed in the bronchial epidermis of nrf(-/-) mite following DE exposure. These results demonstrate the increased susceptibility of the nrf2 germ line mutant mouse to DE exposure and indicate the nrf2 gene knockout mouse nay represent a valuable model for the assessment of respiratory DE toxicity.

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Nrf2 Expression and Apoptosis in Quercetin-treated Malignant Mesothelioma Cells

  • Lee, Yoon-Jin;Lee, David M.;Lee, Sang-Han
    • Molecules and Cells
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    • v.38 no.5
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    • pp.416-425
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    • 2015
  • NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a basic leucine zipper transcription factor, has recently received a great deal of attention as an important molecule that enhances antioxidative defenses and induces resistance to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In this study, we investigated the apoptosis-inducing and Nrf2- upregulating effects of quercetin on malignant mesothelioma (MM) MSTO-211H and H2452 cells. Quercetin treatment inhibited cell growth and led to upregulation of Nrf2 at both the mRNA and protein levels without altering the ubiquitination and extending the half-life of the Nrf2 protein. Following treatment with quercetin, analyses of the nuclear level of Nrf2, Nrf2 antioxidant response element-binding assay, Nrf2 promoter-luc assay, and RT-PCR toward the Nrf2-regulated gene, heme oxygenase-1, demonstrated that the induced Nrf2 is transcriptionally active. Knockdown of Nrf2 expression with siRNA enhanced cytotoxicity due to the induction of apoptosis, as evidenced by an increase in the level of proapoptotic Bax, a decrease in the level of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 with enhanced cleavage of caspase-3 and PARP proteins, the appearance of a sub-$G_0/G_1$ peak in the flow cytometric assay, and increased percentage of apoptotic propensities in the annexin V binding assay. Effective reversal of apoptosis was observed following pretreatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD. Moreover, Nrf2 knockdown exhibited increased sensitivity to the anticancer drug, cisplatin, presumably by potentiating the oxidative stress induced by cisplatin. Collectively, our data demonstrate the importance of Nrf2 in cytoprotection, survival, and drug resistance with implications for the potential significance of targeting Nrf2 as a promising strategy for overcoming resistance to chemotherapeutics in MM.

Nrf2 Overexpression Predicts Prognosis and 5-FU Resistance in Gastric Cancer

  • Hu, Xiu-Feng;Yao, Jun;Gao, She-Gan;Wang, Xin-Shuai;Peng, Xiu-Qing;Yang, Yan-Tong;Feng, Xiao-Shan
    • Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
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    • v.14 no.9
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    • pp.5231-5235
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    • 2013
  • Objective: NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is activated in several human malignancies. However, the role of Nrf2 in gastric cancer (GC) remains incompletely understood. In this study, we therefore analyzed associations of Nrf2 expression status with clinical features and chemotherapeutic resistance in GC. Materials and Methods: A total of 186 samples from GC patients who underwent gastrectomy were used for prognostic assessment. A further 142 samples from GC cases who received first-line combination chemotherapy were applied for investigation of chemoresistance. The Nrf2 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in GC samples, and its relationship with clinicopathological parameters and chemotherapy sensitivity was analyzed. The effect of Nrf2 gene silencing on chemotherapy resistance was also examined by cell viability assay in vivo. Results: Of the 186 patients with GC, 104/186 (55.9%) showed high expression for Nrf2. The overexpression of Nrf2 was an independent predictor of overall survival [OS, hazard ratio (HR) 3.9; P=0.011] and disease-free survival (DFS, HR 4.3; P=0.002). The gene silencing of Nrf2 reduced resistance to cell death induced by 5-FU in GC cell lines. Conclusion: Our data show that Nrf2 is an independent prognostic factor in GC. Furthermore, Nrf2 confers resistance to chemotherapeutic drug 5-FU in GC cells. Taken together, Nrf2 is a potential prognostic marker and predictive for 5-FU resistance in GC.

Sensitization to Doxorubicin by Inhibition of the Nrf2-Antioxidant System (Doxorubicin 매개 세포독성에 대한 Nrf2 경로의 역할)

  • Cho, Jeong-Min;Park, Hyun-M;Kwak, Mi-Kyoung
    • YAKHAK HOEJI
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    • v.52 no.1
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    • pp.67-72
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    • 2008
  • The use of doxorubicin, which is one of the most effective anticancer agents, is often limited by occurrence of acquired resistance in tumor cells. GSH has been shown to be involved in the development of this drug resistance. Transcription factor Nrf2 governs the expression of GSH synthesizing glutamylcysteine ligase (GCL), as well as multiple phase 2 detoxifying enzymes. Here we show that Nrf2 is one of factors determining doxorubicin sensitivity. Nrf2-deficient fibroblasts (murine embryonic fibroblasts, MEF) were more susceptible to doxorubicin mediated cell death than wild-type cells. Doxorubicin treatment elevated levels of Nrf2-regulated genes including NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase (Nqo1) and GCL in wild-type fibroblasts, while no induction was observed in Nrf2-deficient cells. Doxorubicin resistance in human ovarian SK-OV cells was reversed by treatment with L-buthionine-sulfoxamine (BSO), which is depleting intracellular GSH. Finally, transfection of SK-OV cells with Nrf2 siRNA resulted in exacerbated cytotoxicity following doxorubicin treatment compared to scrambled RNA control. These results indicate that the Nrf2 pathway, which plays a protective role in normal cells, can be a potential target to control cancer cell resistance to anticancer agents.

The Role of Nrf2 in Cellular Innate Immune Response to Inflammatory Injury

  • Kim, Ji-Young;Surh, Young-Joon
    • Toxicological Research
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    • v.25 no.4
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    • pp.159-173
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    • 2009
  • Nuclear factor erythroid derived 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) is a master transcription regulator of antioxidant and cytoprotective proteins that mediate cellular defense against oxidative and inflammatory stresses. Disruption of cellular stress response by Nrf2 deficiency causes enhanced susceptibility to infection and related inflammatory diseases as a consequence of exacerbated immune-mediated hypersensitivity and autoimmunity. The cellular defense capacity potentiated by Nrf2 activation appears to balance the population of $CD4^+$ and $CD8^+$ of lymph node cells for proper innate immune responses. Nrf2 can negatively regulate the activation of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules such as p38 MAPK, NF-${\kappa}B$, and AP-1. Nrf2 subsequently functions to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators including cytokines, chemokines, cell adhesion molecules, matrix metalloproteinases, COX-2 and iNOS. Although not clearly elucidated, the antioxidative function of genes targeted by Nrf2 may cooperatively regulate the innate immune response and also repress the expression of pro-inflammatory mediators.

Low-dose radiation activates Nrf1/2 through reactive species and the Ca2+/ERK1/2 signaling pathway in human skin fibroblast cells

  • Lee, Eun Kyeong;Kim, Jin-Ah;Park, Seong Joon;Kim, Jeung Ki;Heo, Kyu;Yang, Kwang Mo;Son, Tae Gen
    • BMB Reports
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    • v.46 no.5
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    • pp.258-263
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    • 2013
  • In the current study, we explored the effect of LDR on the activation of Nrfs transcription factor involved in cellular redox events. Experiments were carried out utilizing 0.05 and 0.5 Gy X-ray irradiated normal human skin fibroblast HS27 cells. The results showed LDR induced Nrf1 and Nrf2 activation and expression of antioxidant genes HO-1, Mn-SOD, and NQO1. In particular, 0.05 Gy-irradiation increased only Nrf1 activation, but 0.5 Gy induced both Nrf1 and Nrf2 activation. LDR-mediated Nrf1/2 activation was accompanied by reactive species (RS) generation and $Ca^{2+}$ flux. This effect was abolished in the presence of N-acetyl-cysteine and BAPTA- AM. Furthermore, Nrf1/2 activation by LDR was suppressed by PD98059, an inhibitor of ERK1/2. In conclusion, LDR induces Nrf1 and Nrf2 activation and expression of Nrf-regulated antioxidant defense genes through RS and $Ca^{2+}$/ERK1/2 pathways, suggesting new insights into the molecular mechanism underlying the beneficial role of LDR in HS27 cells.

Auranofin Downregulates Nuclear Factor-κB Activation via Nrf2-Independent Mechanism (오라노핀에 의한 nuclear factor κB 활성저해는 Nrf2 활성화와 무관한 기전에 의함)

  • Kim, Nam-Hoon;Park, Hyo-Jung;Kim, In-Sook
    • Journal of Life Science
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    • v.20 no.12
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    • pp.1772-1776
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    • 2010
  • Transcription factors Nrf2 and NF-${\kappa}B$ are important regulators of the innate immune response, and their cross-talks in inflammation have been reported. Previously, we demonstrated that gold(I)-compound auranofin, an inhibitor of NF-${\kappa}B$ signal, induced Nrf2 activation in human synovial cells and monocytic cells. To investigate whether the Nrf2 activation is involved in the mechanism of the auranofin-attenuated NF-${\kappa}B$ signaling, we examined the effects of Nrf2 knockdown on NF-${\kappa}B$ activation using rheumatic synovial cells. When the cells were transfected with a specific siRNA for Nrf2, the gene expression was perfectly blocked. However, the Nrf2 knockdown did not cancel the suppressive effect of auranofin on TNF-$\alpha$-induced $I{\kappa}B-{\alpha}$ degradation. Treatment with a specific siRNA for HO-1, which is a target of Nrf2 and plays a role in anti-inflammation, also did not affect the blocking activity of auranofin on $I{\kappa}B-{\alpha}$ degradation. In addition, auranofin-inhibited ICAM-1 expression was not restored by Nrf2 knockdown. These findings indicate that the activated Nrf2 and HO-1 are not associated with the suppressive action of auranofin on the pro-inflammatory cytokines-stimulated NF-${\kappa}B$ activation. This suggests that Nrf2/HO-1 and NF-${\kappa}B$ signals, which are regulated by auranofin, participate in the anti-inflammatory action of auranofin via independent pathways in rheumatic synovial cells.

Cytoprotection Against Oxidative Damage by Nrf2-regulated Genes

  • Kwak, Mi-Kyoung;Kensler, Thomas W.
    • Toxicological Research
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    • v.23 no.3
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    • pp.207-214
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    • 2007
  • Chronic oxidative stress produced by exposure to environmental chemicals or pathophysiological states can lead animals to aging, carcinogenesis and degenerative diseases. Indirect antioxidative mechanisms, in which natural or synthetic agents are used to coordinately induce the expression of cellular antioxidant capacity, have been shown to protect cells and organisms from oxidative damages. Electrophile and free radical detoxifying enzymes, which were originally identified as the products of genes induced by cancer chemopreventive agents, are members of this protective system. The NFE2 family transcription factor Nrf2 was found to govern expression of these detoxifying enzymes, and screening for Nrf2-regulated genes has identified many gene categories involved in maintaining cellular redox potential and protection from oxidative damage as Nrf2 downstream genes. Further, studies using Nrf2-deficient mice revealed that these mutant mice showed more susceptible phenotypes towards exposure to environmental chemicals/carcinogens and in oxidative stress related disease models. With the finding that cancer chemopreventive efficacy of indirect antioxidants (enzyme inducers) is lost in the absence of Nrf2, a central role of Nrf2 in the antioxidative protective system has been firmly established. Promising results from cancer prevention clinical trials using enzyme inducers propose that pharmacological interventions that modulate Nrf2 can be an effective strategy to protect tissues from oxidative damage.