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J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 16;286(37):32115-22. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.245746. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Novel function of transcription factor Nrf2 as an inhibitor of RON tyrosine kinase receptor-mediated cancer cell invasion.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas 78229, USA.


Recepteur d' origine nantais (RON), a tyrosine kinase receptor, is aberrantly expressed in human tumors and promotes cancer cell invasion. RON receptor activation is also associated with resistance to tamoxifen treatment in breast cancer cells. Nrf2 is a positive regulator of cytoprotective genes. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and site-directed mutagenesis studies of the RON promoter, we identified Nrf2 as a negative regulator of RON gene expression. High Nrf2 and low RON expression was observed in normal mammary tissue whereas high RON and low or undetectable expression of Nrf2 was observed in breast tumors. The Nrf2 inducer sulforaphane (SFN) as well as ectopic Nrf2 expression or knock-down of the Nrf2 negative regulator keap1, which stabilizes Nrf2, inhibited RON expression and invasion of carcinoma cells. Consequently, our studies identified a novel functional role for Nrf2 as a "repressor" and RON kinase as a molecular target of SFN, which mediates the anti-tumor effects of SFN. These results are not limited to breast cancer cells since the Nrf2 inducer SFN stabilized Nrf2 and inhibited RON expression in carcinoma cells from various tumor types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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