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Toxicol Res. 2017 Jan;33(1):1-5. doi: 10.5487/TR.2017.33.1.001. Epub 2017 Jan 15.

Oxidative Stress, Nrf2, and Epigenetic Modification Contribute to Anticancer Drug Resistance.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea.


Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), a transcription factor, controls the expression of genes encoding cytoprotective proteins, including antioxidant enzymes that combat oxidative and electrophilic stress to maintain redox homeostasis. However, recent studies demonstrated that, in cancer, aberrant activation of Nrf2 by epigenetic alterations promotes high expression of cytoprotective proteins, which can decrease the efficacy of anticancer drugs used for chemotherapy. In this review, we summarize recent findings regarding the relationship between oxidative stress, Nrf2, epigenetic modification, and anticancer drug resistance, which should aid in development of new strategies to improve chemotherapeutic efficacy.


Anticancer drug resistance; Epigenetic modification; Nrf2 transcription factor; Oxidative stress

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