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Sensitivity to carcinogenesis is increased and chemoprotective efficacy of enzyme inducers is lost in nrf2 transcription factor-deficient mice

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      Accurate transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II in a soluble extract from isolated mammalian nuclei.

      We have developed a procedure for preparing extracts from nuclei of human tissue culture cells that directs accurate transcription initiation in vitro from class II promoters. Conditions of extraction and assay have been optimized for maximum activity using the major late promoter of adenovirus 2. The extract also directs accurate transcription initiation from other adenovirus promoters and cellular promoters. The extract also directs accurate transcription initiation from class III promoters (tRNA and Ad 2 VA).
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        An Nrf2/small Maf heterodimer mediates the induction of phase II detoxifying enzyme genes through antioxidant response elements.

        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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          Keap1 represses nuclear activation of antioxidant responsive elements by Nrf2 through binding to the amino-terminal Neh2 domain.

          Transcription factor Nrf2 is essential for the antioxidant responsive element (ARE)-mediated induction of phase II detoxifying and oxidative stress enzyme genes. Detailed analysis of differential Nrf2 activity displayed in transfected cell lines ultimately led to the identification of a new protein, which we named Keap1, that suppresses Nrf2 transcriptional activity by specific binding to its evolutionarily conserved amino-terminal regulatory domain. The closest homolog of Keap1 is a Drosophila actin-binding protein called Kelch, implying that Keap1 might be a Nrf2 cytoplasmic effector. We then showed that electrophilic agents antagonize Keap1 inhibition of Nrf2 activity in vivo, allowing Nrf2 to traverse from the cytoplasm to the nucleus and potentiate the ARE response. We postulate that Keap1 and Nrf2 constitute a crucial cellular sensor for oxidative stress, and together mediate a key step in the signaling pathway that leads to transcriptional activation by this novel Nrf2 nuclear shuttling mechanism. The activation of Nrf2 leads in turn to the induction of phase II enzyme and antioxidative stress genes in response to electrophiles and reactive oxygen species.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
            Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
            Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
            0027-8424
            1091-6490
            March 13 2001
            March 13 2001
            : 98
            : 6
            : 3410-3415
            10.1073/pnas.051618798
            © 2001
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