NRF2 regulates cellular redox homeostasis, metabolic balance, and proteostasis by forming a dimer with small musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma proteins (sMAFs) and binding to antioxidant response elements (AREs) to activate target gene transcription. In contrast, NRF2-ARE-dependent transcriptional repression is unreported. Here, we describe NRF2-mediated gene repression via a specific seven-nucleotide sequence flanking the ARE, which we term the NRF2-replication protein A1 (RPA1) element (NRE). Mechanistically, RPA1 competes with sMAF for NRF2 binding, followed by interaction of NRF2-RPA1 with the ARE-NRE and eduction of promoter activity. Genome-wide in silico and RNA-seq analyses revealed this NRF2-RPA1-ARE-NRE complex mediates negative regulation of many genes with diverse functions, indicating that this mechanism is a fundamental cellular process. Notably, repression of MYLK, which encodes the nonmuscle myosin light chain kinase, by the NRF2-RPA1-ARE-NRE complex disrupts vascular integrity in preclinical inflammatory lung injury models, illustrating the translational significance of NRF2-mediated transcriptional repression. Our findings reveal a gene-suppressive function of NRF2 and a subset of negatively regulated NRF2 target genes, underscoring the broad impact of NRF2 in physiological and pathological settings.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Oct 30 2018|
- Acute lung injury
- Transcriptional regulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas