Mild or low doses of oxidants are known to prime cells towards resistance against further damage. In cardiomyocytes, we found that pretreatment with 100 μM H2O2 prevents the cells from apoptosis induced by doxorubicin (Dox). Affymetrix microarray analyses of 28,000 genes reveal that H2O2 treated cells reduced expression of genes encoding cytochrome c, mitochondrial complex I, III, IV and V and several contractile proteins. Elevated expression of antioxidant and detoxification genes appears as a dominant feature of the gene expression profile of H2O2 treated cells. Most of the genes in this category contain an Antioxidant Response Element (ARE) in their promoters. Measurements of ARE promoter-reporter gene activity indicate a dose- and time-dependent activation of the ARE by H2O2. Since the Nrf2 transcription factor regulates ARE-mediated gene expression, we overexpressed Nrf2 to test whether activation of Nrf2 is sufficient to induce cytoprotection. High levels of Nrf2 expression were achieved via adenovirus mediated gene delivery. Transduced Nrf2 was present in the nuclei and caused an increase in the expression of NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1), a representative downstream target of Nrf2. Unlike H2O2 pretreated cells, the cells expressing high levels of Nrf2 were not resistant to Dox-induced apoptosis. Therefore, the cytoprotective effect of H2O2 pretreatment is not reliant upon Nrf2 activation alone as measured by resistance against Dox-induced apoptosis.
- Antioxidant enzymes
- NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase
- Nrf2 transcription factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine