Boric Acid Activation of eIF2α and Nrf2 Is PERK Dependent: a Mechanism that Explains How Boron Prevents DNA Damage and Enhances Antioxidant Status
Yamada KE and Eckhert CD
Boron is abundant in vegetables, nuts, legumes, and fruit and intake is associated with reduced risk of cancer and DNA damage and increased antioxidant status. Blood boric acid (BA) levels are approximately 10 μM BA in men at the mean US boron intake. Treatment of DU-145 human prostate cancer cells with 10 μM BA stimulates phosphorylation of elongation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) at Ser51 leading to activation of the eIF2α/ATF4 pathway which activates the DNA damage-inducible protein GADD34. In the present study, we used MEF WT and MEF PERK (±) cells to test the hypothesis that BA-activated eIF2α phosphorylation requires protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) and activates Nrf2 and the antioxidant response element (ARE). BA (10 μM) increased phosphorylation of eIF2α Ser51 in MEF WT cells at 1 h, but not in MEF Perk -/- cells exposed for as long as 6 h. GCN2 kinase-dependent phosphorylation of eIF2α Ser51 was activated in MEF PERK -/- cells by amino acid starvation. Nrf2 phosphorylation is PERK dependent and when activated is translocated from the cytoplasm to the nucleus where it acts as a transcription factor for ARE. DU-145 cells were treated with 10 μM BA and Nrf2 measured by immunofluorescence. Cytoplasmic Nrf2 was translocated to the nucleus at 1.5-2 h in DU-145 and MEF WT cells, but not MEF PERK -/- cells. Real-time PCR was used to measure mRNA levels of three ARE genes (HMOX-1, NQO1, and GCLC). Treatment with 10 μM BA increased the mRNA levels of all three genes at 1-4 h in DU-145 cells and HMOX1 and GCLC in MEF WT cells. These results extend the known boric acid signaling pathway to ARE-regulated genes. The BA signaling pathway can be expressed using the schematic [BA + cADPR → cADPR-BA → [[ER] Ca↓] → 3 pathways: PERK/eIF2αP → pathways ATF4 and Nrf2; and [[ER] Ca↓] → ER stress → ATF6 pathway. This signaling pathway provides a framework that links many of the molecular changes that underpin the biological effects of boron intake.
Triptolide enhances chemotherapeutic efficacy of antitumor drugs in non-small-cell lung cancer cells by inhibiting Nrf2-ARE activity
Zhu J, Wang H, Chen F, Lv H, Xu Z, Fu J, Hou Y, Xu Y and Pi J
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has a high mortality rate worldwide. Various treatments strategies have been used against NSCLC including individualized chemotherapies, but innate or acquired cancer cell drug resistance remains a major obstacle. Recent studies revealed that the Kelch-like ECH associated protein 1/Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Keap1/Nrf2) pathway is intimately involved in cancer progression and chemoresistance. Thus, antagonizing Nrf2 would seem to be a viable strategy in cancer therapy. In the present study a traditional Chinese medicine, triptolide, was identified that markedly inhibited expression and transcriptional activity of Nrf2 in various cancer cells, including NSCLC and liver cancer cells. Consequently, triptolide made cancer cells more chemosensitivity toward antitumor drugs both in vitro and in a xenograft tumor model system using lung carcinoma cells. These results suggest that triptolide blocks chemoresistance in cancer cells by targeting the Nrf2 pathway. Triptolide should be further investigated in clinical cancer trials.
PBDE-47 and PBDE mixture (DE-71) toxicities and liver transcriptomic changes at PND 22 after in utero/postnatal exposure in the rat
Dunnick JK, Shockley KR, Pandiri AR, Kissling GE, Gerrish KE, Ton TV, Wilson RE, Brar SS, Brix AE, Waidyanatha S, Mutlu E and Morgan DL
Pentabromodiphenyl ethers (PBDE) are found in human tissue, in household dust, and in the environment, and a particular concern is the potential for the induction of cancer pathways from these fat-soluble persistent organic pollutants. Only one PBDE cancer study has been conducted and that was for a PBDE mixture (DE-71). Because it is not feasible to test all PBDE congeners in the environment for cancer potential, it is important to develop a set of biological endpoints that can be used in short-term toxicity studies to predict disease outcome after long-term exposures. In this study, PBDE-47 was selected as the test PBDE congener to evaluate and compare toxicity to that of the carcinogenic PBDE mixture. The toxicities of PBDE-47 and the PBDE mixture were evaluated at PND 22 in Wistar Han rat (Crl: WI (Han)) pups after in utero/postnatal exposure (0, 0.1, 15, or 50 mg/kg; dams, GD6-21; pups, PND 12-PND 21; oral gavage daily dosing). By PND 22, PBDE-47 caused centrilobular hypertrophy and fatty change in liver, and reduced serum thyroxin (T) levels; similar effects were also observed after PBDE mixture exposure. Transcriptomic changes in the liver included induction of cytochrome p450 transcripts and up-regulation of Nrf2 antioxidant pathway transcripts and ABC membrane transport transcripts. Decreases in other transport transcripts (ABCG5 & 8) provided a plausible mechanism for lipid accumulation, characterized by a treatment-related liver fatty change after PBDE-47 and PBDE mixture exposure. The benchmark dose calculation based on liver transcriptomic data was generally lower for PBDE-47 than for the PBDE mixture. The up-regulation of the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway and changes in metabolic transcripts after PBDE-47 and PBDE mixture exposure suggest that PBDE-47, like the PBDE mixture (NTP 2016, TR 589), could be a liver toxin/carcinogen after long-term exposure.
Chemical Activation of the Constitutive Androstane Receptor (CAR) Leads to Activation of Oxidant-Induced Nrf2
Rooney JP, Oshida K, Kumar R, Baldwin WS and Corton JC
Exposure to environmentally-relevant chemicals that activate the xenobiotic receptors aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) in rodent test systems often leads to increases in oxidative stress (OS) that contributes to liver cancer induction. We hypothesized that activation of the oxidant-induced transcription factor Nrf2 could be used as a surrogate endpoint for increases in OS. We examined the relationships between activation of xenobiotic receptors and Nrf2 using previously characterized gene expression biomarkers that accurately predict modulation. Using a correlation approach (Running Fisher Test), the biomarkers were compared to microarray profiles in a mouse liver gene expression compendium. Out of the 163 chemicals examined, 47% from 53 studies activated Nrf2. We found consistent coupling between CAR and Nrf2 activation. Out of the 41 chemicals from 32 studies that activated CAR, 90% also activated Nrf2. CAR was activated earlier and at lower doses than Nrf2, indicating CAR activation preceded Nrf2 activation. Nrf2 activation by two CAR activators was abolished in CAR-null mice. We hypothesized that Nrf2 is activated by ROS from the increased activity of enzymes encoded by Cyp2b family members. However, Nrf2 was similarly activated in the livers of both TCPOBOP-treated wild-type and Cyp2b9/10/13-null mice. This study provides evidence that Nrf2 activation 1) often occurs after exposure to xenobiotic chemicals, 2) is tightly linked to activation of CAR, and 3) does not require induction of three Cyp2b genes secondary to CAR activation.
Multiple Routes to Oncogenesis are Promoted by the Human Papillomavirus-Host Protein Network
Eckhardt M, Zhang W, Gross AM, Von Dollen J, Johnson JR, Franks-Skiba KE, Swaney DL, Johnson TL, Jang GM, Shah PS, Brand TM, Archambault J, Kreisberg JF, Grandis JR, Ideker T and Krogan NJ
We have mapped a global network of virus-host protein interactions by purification of the complete set of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) proteins in multiple cell lines followed by mass spectrometry analysis. Integration of this map with tumor genome atlases shows that the virus targets human proteins frequently mutated in HPV(-) but not HPV(+) cancers, providing a unique opportunity to identify novel oncogenic events phenocopied by HPV infection. For example, we find that the Nrf2 transcriptional pathway, which protects against oxidative stress, is activated by interaction of the Nrf2 regulator Keap1 with the viral protein E1. We also demonstrate that the L2 HPV protein physically interacts with the RNF20/40 histone ubiquitination complex and promotes tumor cell invasion in an RNF20/40-dependent manner. This combined proteomic and genetic approach provides a systematic means to study the cellular mechanisms hijacked by virally induced cancers.
Cancer Cell Metabolism Featuring Nrf2
Chatterjee P, Yadav M, Chauhan N, Huang Y and Luo Y
Although the major role of Nrf2 has long been established as a transcription factor for providing cellular protection against oxidative stress, multiple pieces of research and reviews now claim exactly the opposite. The dilemma - "to activate or inhibit" the protein requires an immediate answer, which evidently links cellular metabolism to the causes and purpose of cancer. Profusely growing cancerous cells have prolific energy requirements, which can only be fulfilled by modulating cellular metabolism. This review highlights the cause and effect of Nrf2 modulation in cancer that in turn channelize cellular metabolism, thereby fulfilling the energy requirements of cancer cells. The present work also highlights the purpose of genetic mutations in Nrf2, in relation to cellular metabolism in cancer cells, thus pointing out a newer approach where parallel mutations may be the key factor to decide whether to activate or inhibit Nrf2.
Brusatol ameliorates 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid-induced experimental colitis in rats: Involvement of NF-κB pathway and NLRP3 inflammasome
Zhou J, Wang T, Dou Y, Huang Y, Qu C, Gao J, Huang Z, Xie Y, Huang P, Lin Z and Su Z
Brusatol is a main bioactive component derived from the Chinese medicinal plant Brucea javanica, which is traditionally used for the treatment of dysentery (also known as ulcerative colitis, UC). Previously, we have designed a novel brusatol self-microemulsifying drug delivery system (BR-SMEDDS) to increase its solubility and bioavailability, and enhance its bioactivities. In the present study, we established 2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis rat model in vivo and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 macrophages in vitro, to investigate the potential anti-inflammatory effect and underlying mechanism of BR-SMEDDS. Disease activity index (DAI) including body weight, stool consistency and gross bleeding was measured. Macroscopic and histological evaluations of colons were conducted. Relevant molecular events were determined by ELISA, qRT-PCR, immunohistochemistry or Western blotting. The results showed that BR notably inhibited the productions of TNF-α, pro-IL-1β, PGE and NO, and suppressed the NF-κB signaling pathway in LPS-stimulated macrophages. In parallel with the vitro experimental results, BR significantly attenuated diarrhea, colonic shortening, macroscopic damage and histological injury. BR treatment also increased the levels of TGF-β and IL-4, decreased the contents of IL-1β and IL-18, and elevated the levels of CAT, GSH and SOD in the colons. Furthermore, BR also markedly activated the Nrf2 expression and suppressed the NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Taken together, the anti-UC effect of BR might be intimately associated with the suppression of NF-κB and NLRP3-mediated inflammatory responses, and regulation of Nrf2-mediated oxidative stress. BR might have the potential to be further developed into a promising therapeutic agent for colitis treatment.
Interleukin-17D and Nrf2 mediate initial innate immune cell recruitment and restrict MCMV infection
Seelige R, Saddawi-Konefka R, Adams NM, Picarda G, Sun JC, Benedict CA and Bui JD
Innate immune cells quickly infiltrate the site of pathogen entry and not only stave off infection but also initiate antigen presentation and promote adaptive immunity. The recruitment of innate leukocytes has been well studied in the context of extracellular bacterial and fungal infection but less during viral infections. We have recently shown that the understudied cytokine Interleukin (IL)-17D can mediate neutrophil, natural killer (NK) cell and monocyte infiltration in sterile inflammation and cancer. Herein, we show that early immune cell accumulation at the peritoneal site of infection by mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) is mediated by IL-17D. Mice deficient in IL-17D or the transcription factor Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2), an inducer of IL-17D, featured an early decreased number of innate immune cells at the point of viral entry and were more susceptible to MCMV infection. Interestingly, we were able to artificially induce innate leukocyte infiltration by applying the Nrf2 activator tert-butylhydroquinone (tBHQ), which rendered mice less susceptible to MCMV infection. Our results implicate the Nrf2/IL-17D axis as a sensor of viral infection and suggest therapeutic benefit in boosting this pathway to promote innate antiviral responses.
Anti-aging Effects Of Urolithin A On Replicative Senescent Human Skin Fibroblasts
Liu CF, Li XL, Zhang ZL, Qiu L, Ding SX, Xue JX, Zhao GP and Li J
Although the health benefits attributed to urolithin A, such as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects, are based on numerous, diverse studies carried out in vitro, the biological effects of urolith A are still not entirely understood. In this study, we explored the biological effects of urolithin A using senescent human skin fibroblasts to determine whether urolithin A has any anti-aging potential. Our results showed that urolithin A significantly increased type I collagen expression, and reduced matrix metalloproteinase-1(MMP-1) expression. Urolithin A also reduced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), which may be partially due to activation of the Nrf2-mediated antioxidative response. These results indicate that urolithin A is a promising anti-aging agent. Meanwhile, we noticed that the 50 μM urolithin A could cause changes in cell morphology and inhibition in cell proliferation which was due to cell-cycle arrest in G2/M phase. However, SA-β-gal staining and γH2AX immunofluorescence staining showed cellular senescence status of HSFs did not change. Results of DAPI staining (no significant change), increased Bcl-2 gene expression and mitochondrial membrane potential (no significant change) after urolithin A treatment showed that the cells did not undergo apoptosis. These results provided further insights into the molecular mechanism of urolithin A. In conclusion, urolithin A showed a strong potential of anti-aging.
Icariin and icaritin recover UVB-induced photoaging by stimulating Nrf2/ARE and reducing AP-1 and NF-κB signaling pathways: a comparative study on UVB-irradiated human keratinocytes
Hwang E, Lin P, Ngo HTT, Gao W, Wang YS, Yu HS and Yi TH
Icariin (ICA) and icaritin (ICT) exhibit many pharmacological functions including anti-osteoporosis, anti-cardiovascular, and anti-cancer activities; however, there are few comprehensive studies that track the detailed effects on UVB-induced photoaging. The recovery effects of ICA and ICT were investigated in UVB-irradiated human keratinocytes (HaCaTs). The results indicated that ICT and ICA showed strong radical scavenging activity, and the reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging activity of ICT was superior. UVB-induced matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression was blocked by ICA via the inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase/activator protein 1 (MAPK/AP-1), which directly reduced extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. ICT activated nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) to improve the anti-oxidative stress capacity and suppress nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation, decreasing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein, and inflammatory cytokines induced ECM degrading enzyme secretion. Moreover, ICT was more advantageous to improve transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) and procollagen type I expression than ICA, promoting the synthesis of collagen. Therefore, ICA and ICT have potential to treat UVB-induced oxidative stress, inflammation and photoaging, and will be posited as a novel strategy to alleviate photodamage.
Association between glucose-lowering treatment and cancer metastasis among patients with preexisting type 2 diabetes and incident malignancy
Noh Y, Jeon SM and Shin S
Preclinical data suggested that dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors may promote metastatic progression of preexisting cancer via nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (NRF2) activation. We aimed to investigate the association between different glucose-lowering treatments, including DPP-4 inhibitors and metformin, both with potential NRF2 modulating effects, and new-onset metastatic cancer among type 2 diabetes patients with comorbid incident cancer. This population-based cohort study included 223,530 diabetic patients newly diagnosed with primary cancer during 2009-2011 in Korea. The patients were categorized into five study cohorts in accordance with treatment modalities during the follow-up until the end of 2016: no-antidiabetic drugs (no-AD), metformin, DPP-4 inhibitors, metformin+DPP-4 inhibitors, and insulin treatment. Following propensity score (PS) matching in a 1:1 ratio against the no-AD group, 18,805 patients in metformin, 1,865 in DPP-4 inhibitors, 31,074 in metformin+DPP-4 inhibitors, and 1,895 patients in insulin groups were identified for cohort entry and analyzed against the corresponding number of no-AD patients in each PS-matched comparison pair. Metastatic risk was lower with metformin plus or minus DPP-4 inhibitors (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.79-0.90 and 0.87, 0.80-0.95, respectively), not significantly associated with DPP-4 inhibitors (0.99, 0.77-1.29) except after thyroid cancer (3.89, 1.01-9.64), and higher with insulin therapy (1.81, 1.46-2.24) compared with no-AD use for all cancers combined. In conclusion, DPP-4 inhibitor therapy was not associated with significant risk of cancer metastasis relative to no-AD therapy, irrespective of patient age and sex, except after thyroid cancer, while metastatic risk was decreased with metformin treatment among type 2 diabetes patients with preexisting cancer. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Oxidative Stress-Protective and Anti-Melanogenic Effects of Loliolide and Ethanol Extract from Fresh Water Green Algae,
Park SH, Choi E, Kim S, Kim DS, Kim JH, Chang S, Choi JS, Park KJ, Roh KB, Lee J, Yoo BC and Cho JY
Loliolide is a monoterpenoid hydroxylactone found in many algae, including fresh water green algae, . To date, loliolide and compounds in have not been studied systematically with respect to skin pharmacology. In this study, we investigated oxidative stress-protective and anti-melanogenic effects of loliolide and ethanol extract (Pj-EE), known to contain loliolide, in human keratinocyte (HaCaT) cells and mouse melanoma (B16F10) cells. Loliolide suppressed the transcription of genes encoding matrix metalloproteinases (MMPS), which were induced in HaCaT cells by hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) treatment. Loliolide and Pj-EE not only reduced the melanin secretion and content in B16F10 cells but also increased the expression of the antioxidant proteins nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in HaCaT cells subjected to H₂O₂ treatment. Furthermore, loliolide and Pj-EE decreased expression of the anti-melanogenic protein microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase in B16F10 cells subjected to α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) treatment. Our findings demonstrate that loliolide and Pj-EE have antioxidant and anti-melanogenic effects on skin.
Molecular Mechanisms of Lithium Action: Switching the Light on Multiple Targets for Dementia Using Animal Models
Kerr F, Bjedov I and Sofola-Adesakin O
Lithium has long been used for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, due to its robust beneficial effect as a mood stabilizing drug. Lithium's effectiveness for improving neurological function is therefore well-described, stimulating the investigation of its potential use in several neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer's (AD), Parkinson's (PD) and Huntington's (HD) diseases. A narrow therapeutic window for these effects, however, has led to concerted efforts to understand the molecular mechanisms of lithium action in the brain, in order to develop more selective treatments that harness its neuroprotective potential whilst limiting contraindications. Animal models have proven pivotal in these studies, with lithium displaying advantageous effects on behavior across species, including worms (), zebrafish (), fruit flies () and rodents. Due to their susceptibility to genetic manipulation, functional genomic analyses in these model organisms have provided evidence for the main molecular determinants of lithium action, including inhibition of inositol monophosphatase (IMPA) and glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3). Accumulating pre-clinical evidence has indeed provided a basis for research into the therapeutic use of lithium for the treatment of dementia, an area of medical priority due to its increasing global impact and lack of disease-modifying drugs. Although lithium has been extensively described to prevent AD-associated amyloid and tau pathologies, this review article will focus on generic mechanisms by which lithium preserves neuronal function and improves memory in animal models of dementia. Of these, evidence from worms, flies and mice points to GSK-3 as the most robust mediator of lithium's neuro-protective effect, but it's interaction with downstream pathways, including Wnt/β-catenin, CREB/brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) and toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)/nuclear factor-κB (NFκB), have identified multiple targets for development of drugs which harness lithium's neurogenic, cytoprotective, synaptic maintenance, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and protein homeostasis properties, in addition to more potent and selective GSK-3 inhibitors. Lithium, therefore, has advantages as a multi-functional therapy to combat the complex molecular pathology of dementia. Animal studies will be vital, however, for comparative analyses to determine which of these defense mechanisms are most required to slow-down cognitive decline in dementia, and whether combination therapies can synergize systems to exploit lithium's neuro-protective power while avoiding deleterious toxicity.
Activation of Nrf2/HO-1 Pathway by Nardochinoid C Inhibits Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Macrophages
Luo JF, Shen XY, Lio CK, Dai Y, Cheng CS, Liu JX, Yao YD, Yu Y, Xie Y, Luo P, Yao XS, Liu ZQ and Zhou H
The roots and rhizomes of have neuroprotection and cardiovascular protection effects. However, the specific mechanism of is not yet clear. Nardochinoid C (DC) is a new compound with new skeleton isolated from and this study for the first time explored the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effect of DC. The results showed that DC significantly reduced the release of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E (PGE) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated RAW264.7 cells. The expression of pro-inflammatory proteins including inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) were also obviously inhibited by DC in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. Besides, the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were also remarkably inhibited by DC in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. DC also suppressed inflammation indicators including COX-2, PGE, TNF-α, and IL-6 in LPS-stimulated THP-1 macrophages. Furthermore, DC inhibited the macrophage M1 phenotype and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells. Mechanism studies showed that DC mainly activated nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway, increased the level of anti-oxidant protein heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and thus produced the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, which were abolished by Nrf2 siRNA and HO-1 inhibitor. These findings suggested that DC could be a new Nrf2 activator for the treatment and prevention of diseases related to inflammation and oxidative stress.
Hypoxia modulates the antioxidant effect of hydroxytyrosol in MCF-7 breast cancer cells
Calahorra J, Martínez-Lara E, De Dios C and Siles E
Although cancer is multifactorial, a strong correlation between this pathology and increased oxidative stress has long been stablished. Hypoxia, inherent to solid tumors, increases reactive oxygen species and should be taken into account when analyzing the response of tumor cells to antioxidants. The Mediterranean diet has been related to a lower incidence of cancer, and particularly of breast cancer. Given that hydroxytyrosol (HT) is largely responsible for the antioxidant properties of olive oil, we have performed a comprehensive and comparative study of its effect on the oxidative stress response of the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 in hypoxia and normoxia. Our results demonstrate that the antioxidant action of HT is particularly effective in a hypoxic environment. Moreover, we have observed that this polyphenol modulates the transcription and translation of members of the PGC-1α/ERRα and PGC-1α/Nrf2 pathways. However, while the transcriptional effects of HT are similar in normoxic and hypoxic conditions, its translational action is less prominent and partially attenuated in hypoxia, and therefore cannot completely explain the antioxidant effect of HT. Consequently, our results underscore that the hypoxic environment of tumor cells should be considered when analyzing the effect of bioactive compounds. Besides, this study also points to the importance of assessing the regulatory role of HT at both mRNA and protein level to get a complete picture of its effects.

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