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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2005 Nov-Dec;7(11-12):1664-73.

Molecular mechanism of nrf2 activation by oxidative stress.

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National Research Laboratory, College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea.


The capacity of cells to maintain homeostasis during oxidative stress resides in activation or induction of protective enzymes. Nuclear-factor-E2-related factor (Nrf)-2 as a member of bZIP transcription factors is expressed in a variety of tissues. Transcriptional activation of antioxidant genes through an antioxidant response element (ARE) is largely dependent upon Nrf2. The genes that contain a functional ARE include those encoding GSTA1, GSTA2, NAD(P)H:quinone reductase, and gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase heavy and light subunits that play a role in defense against oxidative stress. Previously, we showed that phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) controls nuclear translocation of Nrf2 in response to oxidative stress, which involves rearrangement of actin microfilaments. Now, we report that PI3-kinase is responsible for the rise of cellular Ca(2+), which is requisite for nuclear translocation of Nrf2. Immunocytochemistry and subcellular fractionation analyses revealed that Nrf2 relocated from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane prior to its nuclear translocation. We further found that CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-beta (C/EBPbeta), peroxisome proliferatoractivated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma), and retinoid X receptor (RXR) heterodimer serve as the activating transcription factors for the phase II gene induction. Hence, PI3-kinase-mediated Nrf2 activation in combination with activating PPARgamma-RXR and C/EBPbeta contributes to antioxidant phase II enzyme induction via coordinate gene transactivation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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