Nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is known as a key regulator of ARE-mediated gene expression and the induction of Phase II detoxifying enzymes and antioxidant enzymes, which is also a common property of many chemopreventive agents. In the present study, we investigated the regulatory role of different chemopreventive agents including sulforaphane (SUL), allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and parthenolide (PTL), in the expression and degradation of Nrf2 and the induction of the antioxidant enzyme HO-1. SUL strongly induced Nrf2 protein expression and ARE-mediated transcription activation, retarded degradation of Nrf2 through inhibiting Keap1, and thereby activating the transcriptional expression of HO-1. AITC was also a potent inducer of Nrf2 protein expression, ARE-reporter gene and HO-1 but had little effect on delaying the degradation of Nrf2 protein. Although PTL and I3C could induce ARE-reporter gene expression and Nrf2 to some extent, they were not as potent as SUL and AITC. However, PTL dramatically induced the HO-1 expression, which was comparable to SUL, while I3C had no effect. In addition, when treated with SUL and PTL, inhibition of proteasome by MG132 did not cause additional accumulation of Nrf2, suggesting the involvement of other degradation mechanism(s) in the presence of these compounds such as SUL and PTL. In summary, the results of our current study indicated that different chemopreventive compounds have different regulatory properties on the accumulation and degradation of Nrf2 as well as the induction of cellular antioxidant enzyme HO-1.
- Chemopreventive agents