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The Role of Nrf2 in Cellular Innate Immune Response to Inflammatory Injury

Abstract

Nuclear factor erythroid derived 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) is a master transcription regulator of antioxidant and cytoprotective proteins that mediate cellular defense against oxidative and inflammatory stresses. Disruption of cellular stress response by Nrf2 deficiency causes enhanced susceptibility to infection and related inflammatory diseases as a consequence of exacerbated immuneediated hypersensitivity and autoimmunity. The cellular defense capacity potentiated by Nrf2 activation appears to balance the population of CD4+ and CD8+ of lymph node cells for proper innate immune responses. Nrf2 can negatively regulate the activation of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules such as p38 MAPK, NF-KB, and AP-1. Nrf2 subsequently functions to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory mediators including cytokines, chemokines, cell adhesion molecules, matrix metalloprotein-ases, COX-2 and iNOS. Although not clearly elucidated, the antioxidative function of genes targeted by Nrf2 may cooperatively regulate the innate immune response and also repress the expression of proinflammatory mediators.

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Kim, J., Surh, YJ. The Role of Nrf2 in Cellular Innate Immune Response to Inflammatory Injury. Toxicol Res. 25, 159–173 (2009). https://doi.org/10.5487/TR.2009.25.4.159

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Key words

  • Nrf2
  • Innate immunity
  • Inflammation