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An Nrf2/small Maf heterodimer mediates the induction of phase II detoxifying enzyme genes through antioxidant response elements.

Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

enzymology, Animals, Binding Sites, Butylated Hydroxyanisole, DNA Adducts, DNA-Binding Proteins, genetics, metabolism, physiology, Dimerization, Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic, Glutathione Transferase, Heterozygote, Homozygote, Intestines, Liver, Male, Mice, Mice, Knockout, NF-E2-Related Factor 2, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Quinone Reductases, Trans-Activators, Transcription Factors, Xenobiotics

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      Abstract

      The induction of phase II detoxifying enzymes is an important defense mechanism against intake of xenobiotics. While this group of enzymes is believed to be under the transcriptional control of antioxidant response elements (AREs), this contention is experimentally unconfirmed. Since the ARE resembles the binding sequence of erythroid transcription factor NF-E2, we investigated the possibility that the phase II enzyme genes might be regulated by transcription factors that also bind to the NF-E2 sequence. The expression profiles of a number of transcription factors suggest that an Nrf2/small Maf heterodimer is the most likely candidate to fulfill this role in vivo. To directly test these questions, we disrupted the murine nrf2 gene in vivo. While the expression of phase II enzymes (e.g., glutathione S-transferase and NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase) was markedly induced by a phenolic antioxidant in vivo in both wild type and heterozygous mutant mice, the induction was largely eliminated in the liver and intestine of homozygous nrf2-mutant mice. Nrf2 was found to bind to the ARE with high affinity only as a heterodimer with a small Maf protein, suggesting that Nrf2/small Maf activates gene expression directly through the ARE. These results demonstrate that Nrf2 is essential for the transcriptional induction of phase II enzymes and the presence of a coordinate transcriptional regulatory mechanism for phase II enzyme genes. The nrf2-deficient mice may prove to be a very useful model for the in vivo analysis of chemical carcinogenesis and resistance to anti-cancer drugs.

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          HPRT-deficient (Lesch-Nyhan) mouse embryos derived from germline colonization by cultured cells.

          Embryonal stem (ES) cell lines, established in culture from peri-implantation mouse blastocysts, can colonize both the somatic and germ-cell lineages of chimaeric mice following injection into host blastocysts. Recently, ES cells with multiple integrations of retroviral sequences have been used to introduce these sequences into the germ-line of chimaeric mice, demonstrating an alternative to the microinjection of fertilized eggs for the production of transgenic mice. However, the properties of ES cells raise a unique possibility: that of using the techniques of somatic cell genetics to select cells with genetic modifications such as recessive mutations, and of introducing these mutations into the mouse germ line. Here we report the realization of this possibility by the selection in vitro of variant ES cells deficient in hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT; EC 2.4.2.8), their use to produce germline chimaeras resulting in female offspring heterozygous for HPRT-deficiency, and the generation of HPRT-deficient preimplantation embryos from these females. In human males, HPRT deficiency causes Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, which is characterized by mental retardation and self-mutilation.
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            9240432

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