PloS one

Monitoring the Antioxidant Mediated Chemosensitization and ARE-Signaling in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Therapy.

PMID 26536456


Chemotherapy often fails due to cellular detoxifying mechanisms, including phase-II enzymes. Activation of Nrf2-Keap1 pathway induces phase-II enzymes expression through ARE-signaling and prevents cancer development. Nrf2-overexpression in cancer cells results in chemo- and/or radioresistance. This necessitates understanding of Nrf2-regulation, and identification of Nrf2 activators/inhibitors sensitizing cancer cells to improve chemotherapy. N-terminal 435-amino acids of Nrf2 are crucial for Keap1 binding during ubiquitination. Identification of a minimum Nrf2-domain required for Keap1 binding without altering endogenous ARE-signaling would be a novel tool to study Nrf2-signaling. Current study developed firefly-luciferase reporter fusion with N-terminal Nrf2-domain of different lengths and examined its response to Nrf2-activators in cells. The results identified FLuc2 fusion with N-terminal 100-aa of Nrf2 is sufficient for measuring Nrf2-activation in cancer cells. We used MDA-MB231 cells expressing this particular construct for studying antioxidant induced Nrf2-activation and chemosensitization in triple-negative breast cancer therapy. While antioxidant EGCG showed chemosensitization of MDA-MB231 cells to cisplatin by activating Nrf2-ARE signaling, PTS, another antioxidant showed chemoprotection. Tumor xenograft study in mouse demonstrates that combinational treatment by cisplatin/EGCG resulted in tumor growth reduction, compared to cisplatin alone treatment. The results of this study highlight the importance of identifying selective combination of antioxidants/chemotherapeutic agents for customized treatment strategy.