Radiation therapy can effectively kill cancer cells through ROS generation. Cancer cells with upregulated antioxidant systems can develop high radioresistance ability, and the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a key regulator of the antioxidant system. Currently, there are numerous data indicating the important role of Nrf2 in cancer radioresistance. In this review, we summarize the aberrant regulation of Nrf2 in radioresistant cells and discuss the effects and underlying mechanism of Nrf2 in promoting radioresistance. These findings suggest that Nrf2 might be a potential therapeutic target in cancer radiation resistance or a promising radioprotector for normal organs during radiation therapy in the future.
Keywords: Antioxidant; Nrf2; ROS; Radioresistance; Targeted therapy.
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