Under basal conditions, the antioxidant transcription factor nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2) is bound to the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) protein and targeted for proteasomal degradation in the cytoplasm. In response to cellular injury or chemical treatment, NRF2 dissociates from KEAP1 and activates the transcription of protective genes and defends against injury. LH601A is a first-in-class direct inhibitor of the KEAP1-NRF2 protein-protein interaction. The purpose of this study was to determine whether LH601A activates NRF2 signaling in human kidney cells. Human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells were treated with LH601A or the indirect NRF2 activator, sulforaphane (SFN) for 6 or 16 h. SFN and LH601A upregulated NRF2 target genes heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) (two- to sevenfold), thioredoxin 1 (TRX1) (twofold) and NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) mRNAs (twofold). Both compounds also elevated HO-1 and TRX1 protein expression. Since NRF2 activation can protect tissues from injury, LH601A, a direct inhibitor of the KEAP1-NRF2 interaction may be used to defend against kidney injury and/or diseases.
Keywords: HO-1; KEAP1; Kidney; NRF2; Nephrotoxicity.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.