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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2010 Dec 1;13(11):1627-37. doi: 10.1089/ars.2010.3219. Epub 2010 Jul 13.

Gain of Nrf2 function in non-small-cell lung cancer cells confers radioresistance.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

Nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2 (Nrf2), a redox-sensitive transcription factor, regulates the expression of antioxidant enzymes and several anti-apoptotic proteins, which confer cytoprotection against oxidative stress and apoptosis. Constitutive activation of Nrf2 in lung cancer cells promotes tumorigenicity and contributes to chemoresistance by upregulation of glutathione, thioredoxin, and the drug efflux pathways involved in detoxification of electrophiles and broad spectrum of drugs. In this study, we show that RNAi-mediated lowering of Nrf2 levels in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines (A549 and H460) led to a dramatic increase in endogenous reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Similarly, γ-irradiation-induced formation of protein carbonyls were significantly higher in Nrf2-depleted lung cancer cells, suggesting increased lethality of ionizing radiation in the absence of Nrf2. Radiation-induced protein oxidation in Nrf2shRNA cells correlated with reduced survival as measured by clonogenic assay. Radiation-induced cell death was abrogated by pretreatment with antioxidants such as N-acetyl-L-cysteine, glutathione, and vitamin-E, highlighting the importance of antioxidants in conferring protection against radiation injury. Using genetically-modified gain and loss of function models of Nrf2, in mouse embryonic fibroblasts, we establish that constitutive activation of Nrf2 protects against ionizing radiation toxicity and confers radioresistance. Thus, targeting Nrf2 activity in radioresistant tumors could be a promising strategy to circumvent radioresistance.

PMID:
20446773
PMCID:
PMC3541552
DOI:
10.1089/ars.2010.3219
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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