The nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) transcription factor plays a central role in mediating the cellular stress response. Due to their antioxidant properties, compounds activating NRF2 have received much attention as potential medications for disease prevention, or even for therapy. Accumulating evidence suggests that activation of the NRF2 pathway also has a major impact on wound healing and may be beneficial in the treatment of chronic wounds, which remain a considerable health and economic burden. While NRF2 activation indeed shows promise, important considerations need to be made in light of corresponding evidence that also points towards pro-tumorigenic effects of NRF2. In this review, we discuss the evidence to date, highlighting recent advances using gain- and loss-of-function animal models and how these data fit with observations in humans.
Keywords: NRF2; fibroblast; inflammation; keratinocyte; wound healing.