Nrf2 as a Master Redox Switch in Turning on the Cellular Signaling Involved in the Induction of Cytoprotective Genes by Some Chemopreventive Phytochemicals

National Research Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.
Planta Medica (Impact Factor: 2.15). 11/2008; 74(13):1526-39. DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1088302
Source: PubMed


A wide array of dietary phytochemicals have been reported to induce the expression of enzymes involved in both cellular antioxidant defenses and elimination/inactivation of electrophilic carcinogens. Induction of such cytoprotective enzymes by edible phytochemicals largely accounts for their cancer chemopreventive and chemoprotective activities. Nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays a crucial role in the coordinated induction of those genes encoding many stress-responsive and cytoptotective enzymes and related proteins. These include NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase-1, heme oxygenase-1, glutamate cysteine ligase, glutathione S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, thioredoxin, etc. In resting cells, Nrf2 is sequestered in the cytoplasm as an inactive complex with the repressor Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1). The release of Nrf2 from its repressor is most likely to be achieved by alterations in the structure of Keap1. Keap1 contains several reactive cysteine residues that function as sensors of cellular redox changes. Oxidation or covalent modification of some of these critical cysteine thiols would stabilize Nrf2, thereby facilitating nuclear accumulation of Nrf2. After translocation into nucleus, Nrf2 forms a heterodimer with other transcription factors, such as small Maf, which in turn binds to the 5'-upstream CIS-acting regulatory sequence, termed antioxidant response elements (ARE) or electrophile response elements (EpRE), located in the promoter region of genes encoding various antioxidant and phase 2 detoxifying enzymes. Certain dietary chemopreventive agents target Keap1 by oxidizing or chemically modifying one or more of its specific cysteine thiols, thereby stabilizing Nrf2. In addition, phosphorylation of specific serine or threonine residues present in Nrf2 by upstream kinases may also facilitate the nuclear localization of Nrf2. Multiple mechanisms of Nrf2 activation by signals mediated by one or more of the upstream kinases, such as mitogen-activated protein kinases, phosphatidylionositol-3-kinase/Akt, protein kinase C, and casein kinase-2 have recently been proposed. This review highlights the cytoprotective gene expression induced by some representative dietary chemopreventive phytochemicals with the Nrf2-Keap1 system as a prime molecular target.

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    • "The KEAP1 acts as a redox sensor and different alterations in its structure induced by ROS and electrophilic compounds including oxidative modifications of its cysteine residues (Cys151, Cys273, and Cys288) lead to its dissociation from this complex and activation of Nrf2789. Plant phenylpropanoids identified in ginger plant (Zingiber officinale), 6-gingerol, and 6-shogaol and their derivatives and plant flavonoid quercetin as well as other dietary plant phenolic compounds are considered as chemopreventive candidates against oxidative stress and cancer due to its property of activating Nrf2-ARE signalling pathway in different types of human cells9101112. Their effects on expression of GSTP1 enzyme could be specifically beneficial in biotransformation of ROS and electrophilic species. "
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    ABSTRACT: Quercetin and phenylpropanoids are well known chemoprotective compounds identified in many plants. This study was aimed at determining their effects on activation of Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) antioxidant response element (Nrf2-ARE) signalling pathway and expression of its important downstream effector phase II detoxification enzyme glutathione-S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) in BJ foreskin fibroblasts and skin HaCaT keratinocytes. Cell lines and their corresponding Nrf2-ARE luciferase reporter cells were treated by ginger phenylpropanoids and quercetin for 10 h and the level of Nrf2 activity was subsequently determined. Both, ginger phenylpropanoids and quercetin, significantly increased the level of Nrf2 activity. Subsequent western blot analyses of proteins showed the increased expression level of glutathione-S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) in BJ cells but not in HaCaT cells. Such phenomenon of unresponsive downstream target expression in HaCaT cells was consistent with previous studies showing a constitutive expression of their GSTP1. Thus, while both ginger phenylpropanoids and quercetin have the property of increasing the level of Nrf2 both in HaCaT and in BJ cells, their effects on its downstream signalling were mediated only in BJ cells.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · BioMed Research International
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    • "Plant-derived phytochemicals are now widely accepted as important dietary factors that boost our health by protecting cells against oxidative damage. The wide range of health promoting effects of these phytochemicals has often been attributed to the induction of Nrf2 pathway [12]. Morin (2′,3,4′,5,7-pentahydroxyflavone), a flavonol, has been shown to possess a wide array of biological activities including anti-oxidant [13], anti-hyperglycaemic [14] and hepato-protective [15] properties. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent advances indicate a possible role of phytochemicals as modulatory factors in signaling pathways. We have previously demonstrated PHLPP2-mediated suppression of Nrf2 responses during oxidant attack. The present study was designed to explore Nrf2-potentiating mechanism of morin, a flavonol, via its possible role in intervening PHLPP2-regulated Akt/GSK3β/Fyn kinase axis. Efficacy of morin was evaluated against oxidative stress-mediated damage to primary hepatocytes by tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP) and acetaminophen. The anti-cytotoxic effects of morin were found to be a consequence of fortification of Nrf2-regulated antioxidant defenses since morin failed to sustain activities of redox enzyme in Nrf2 silenced hepatocytes. Morin promoted Nrf2 stability and its nuclear retention by possibly modulating PHLPP2 activity which subdues cellular Nrf2 responses by activating Fyn kinase. Pull-down assay using morin-conjugated beads indicated the binding affinity of morin towards PHLPP2. Molecular docking also revealed the propensity of morin to occupy the active site of PHLPP2 enzyme. Thus, dietary phytochemical morin was observed to counteract oxidant-induced hepatocellular damage by promoting Nrf2-regulated transcriptional induction. The findings support the novel role of morin in potentiating Nrf2 responses by limiting PHLPP2 and hence Fyn kinase activation. Therefore, morin may be exploited in developing novel therapeutic strategy aimed at enhancing Nrf2 responses.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015
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    • "Neuroscience 304 (2015) 14–28 it then binds to promoter sequences known as antioxidant response elements (AREs) (Keum, 2012). Nuclear accumulation of Nrf2 results in the upregulation of phase II detoxifying anti-oxidant enzymes such as NAD(P)H, quinone oxidoreductase, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), glutamate-cysteine ligase catalytic subunit, and glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier subunit (Surh et al., 2008). Among the various known cytoprotective enzymes, HO-1 has received considerable attention (Nakaso et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sulfuretin, one of the major flavonoid glycosides found in the stem bark of Albizzia julibrissin and heartwood of Rhus verniciflua, is a known anti-oxidant. We previously demonstrated that sulfuretin inhibits neuronal death via reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent mechanisms in cultured cells, although other relevant mechanisms of action of this compound remain largely uncharacterized. As part of our ongoing exploration of the pharmacological actions of sulfuretin, we studied the neuroprotective effects of sulfuretin against amyloid beta (Aβ)-induced neurotoxicity in neuronal cells and investigated the possible mechanisms involved. Specifically, we found in the present study that sulfuretin significantly attenuates the decrease in cell viability, release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and accumulation of ROS associated with Aβ25-35-induced neurotoxicity in neuronal cells. Furthermore, sulfuretin stimulated the activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a downstream target of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3K)/Akt. We demonstrated that sulfuretin induces the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an anti-oxidant response gene. Notably, we found that the neuroprotective effects of sulfuretin were diminished by an Nrf2 small interfering RNA (siRNA), the HO-1 inhibitor zinc protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP), as well as the PI3K/Akt inhibitor LY294002. Taken together, these results indicated that sulfuretin protects neuronal cells from Aβ25-35-induced neurotoxicity through activation of Nrf/HO-1 and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. Our results also indicate that sulfuretin-induced induction of Nrf2-dependent HO-1 expression via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway has preventive and/or therapeutic potential for the management of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Neuroscience
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