Fluvastatin protects vascular smooth muscle cells against oxidative stress through the Nrf2-dependent antioxidant pathway
ABSTRACT HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have pleiotropic actions, including the ability to reduce vascular oxidative stress. Transcription factor nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is an important regulator of cellular oxidative stress. This study examined the role of Nrf2 in statin-mediated antioxidant effects in vascular smooth muscle cells.
In cultured human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (hCASMCs), fluvastatin activated the nuclear translocation of Nrf2, as evaluated by Western blotting and immunocytochemical analyses. Nrf2-antioxidant response element (ARE) activity was measured with a luciferase assay after transfection of reporter plasmids containing AREs. Fluvastatin significantly increased the transcriptional activity of the ARE. Electromobility shift assays using an ARE probe detected a complex that was significantly increased in intensity by fluvastatin. Western blotting and luciferase assay revealed fluvastatin activated Nrf2 via the PI3K/Akt pathway. Statins upregulated the Nrf2-related antioxidant genes heme oxygenase-1, NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase-1, and glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier subunits. Inhibition of Nrf2 by siRNA reduced statin-induced upregulation of these antioxidant genes. Moreover, Nrf2 siRNA markedly reduced the cytoprotective effects of fluvastatin against H(2)O(2) administration in hCASMCs.
Fluvastatin exerts cytoprotective effects against oxidative stress, inducing antioxidant genes through Nrf2/ARE in hCASMCs. These results suggest that the Nrf2/ARE pathway plays an important role in the regulation of statin-mediated antioxidant effects in vascular smooth muscle cells.
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ABSTRACT: Statins are known to inhibit growth of a number of cancer cells, but their mechanism of action is not well established. In this study, human prostate adenocarcinoma PC-3 and breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cell lines were used as models to investigate the mechanism of action of atorvastatin, one of the statins. Atorvastatin was found to induce apoptosis in PC-3 cells at a concentration of 1 μM, and in MCF-7 cells at 50 μM. Initial survey of possible pathway using various pathway-specific luciferase reporter assays showed that atorvastatin-activated antioxidant response element (ARE), suggesting oxidative stress pathway may play a role in atorvastatin-induced apoptosis in both cell lines. Among the antioxidant response genes, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) was significantly up-regulated by atorvastatin. Pre-incubation of the cells with geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate blocked atorvastatin-induced apoptosis, but not up-regulation of HO-1, suggesting that atorvastatin-induced apoptosis is dependent on GTPase activity and up-regulation of HO-1 gene is not. Six ARE-like elements (designated StRE1 [stress response element] through StRE6) are present in the HO-1 promoter. Atorvastatin was able to activate all of the elements. Because these StRE sites are present in clusters in HO-1 promoter, up-regulation of HO-1 by atorvastatin may involve multiple StRE sites. The role of HO-1 in atorvastatin-induced apoptosis in PC-3 and MCF-7 remains to be studied.Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 03/2011; 16(2):394-400. DOI:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01324.x · 4.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and gene therapy have the potential to cure β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease, they are not currently available to most people with these diseases. In the near term, pharmacologic induction of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) may offer the best possibility for safe, effective, and widely available therapy. In an effort to define new pathways for targeted drug development for HbF induction, we evaluated the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) antioxidant response element signaling pathway. We found that 3 well-known activators of this pathway increased γ-globin mRNA at nontoxic doses in K562 cells. Tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), the most active of these compounds, increased cellular levels and nuclear translocation of NRF2 and binding of NRF2 to the γ-globin promoter. siRNA knockdown of NRF2 inhibited γ-globin induction by tBHQ. When tested in human primary erythroid cells, tBHQ induced NRF2 binding to the γ-globin promoter, increased γ-globin mRNA and HbF, and suppressed β-globin mRNA and HbA, resulting in a > 3-fold increase in the percentage of HbF. These results suggest that drugs that activate the NRF2/antioxidant response element signaling pathway have the potential to induce therapeutic levels of HbF in people with β-hemoglobinopathies.Blood 04/2011; 117(22):5987-97. DOI:10.1182/blood-2010-10-314096 · 10.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that is related to tumor cell multidrug resistance and proliferation. Here we studied the involvement of Nrf2 in the migration and invasion of human U251 glioma cells. METHODS: Two kinds of plasmid, that is, pEGFP-Nrf2 and Si-Nrf2, were constructed and transfected to upregulate or downregulate the expression of Nrf2 in U251 glioma cell line. Blank vectors or random siRNA plasmid were used as negative control. Cells treated with lipofectamine only were set up as blank control. Protein and mRNA level of Nrf2 and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) were investigated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and western blot after transfection. Wound healing assay and transwell assay were used to study migration and invasion of U251 after transfection. Gelatin zymography was performed to reveal the change of MMP9 activity after transfection. RESULTS: The mRNA and protein level of Nrf2 was upregulated in U251-pEGFP-Nrf2 while downregulated in U251-Si-Nrf2 48 hours after transfection. In the wound healing assay, there were more cells in group pEGFP-Nrf2 crossing the scratch line than in group Si-Nrf2. Furthermore, in transwell migration and invasion assay, there were more cells in group pEGFP-Nrf2 penetrating the membranes than in group Si-Nrf2. Then we investigated the change of MMP9 activity, mRNA, and protein levels after transfection. The results suggested that upregulation of Nrf2 led to an increase in MMP9 expression and activity whereas downregulation of Nrf2 led to a decrease in MMP9 expression and activity. CONCLUSION: Nrf2 is involved in migration and invasion of U251 cells, which may be related to MMP9.World Neurosurgery 11/2011; 80(3-4). DOI:10.1016/j.wneu.2011.06.063 · 2.88 Impact Factor