Mechanistic Study of USP15-Dependent Deubiquitination and Characterization of Natural Compounds that Modulate the Nrf2-Keap1 Antioxidant Response
AuthorVilleneuve, Nicole Frances
AdvisorZhang, Donna D.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 10/7/2011
AbstractNrf2 (NF-E2-related factor 2) is a transcription factor that regulates a battery of downstream genes that contain an antioxidant response element (ARE) in their promoters, including intracellular redox-balancing proteins, phase II detoxifying enzymes, and transporters. These Nrf2-dependent proteins work in collaboration to protect against many diseases where oxidative stress plays an essential role in disease onset and progression. Consequently, it is imperative to understand the basic molecular mechanisms of how Nrf2 is regulated so we can target this pathway for disease prevention and treatment.Nrf2 is mainly regulated at the protein level by the ubiquitin proteasome system. Under basal conditions Nrf2 is constantly ubiquitinated by the Keap1-Cul3-E3 ubiquitin ligase complex and subsequently degraded by the 26S proteasome. Currently, regulation of the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway by ubiquitination is largely understood. However, the mechanism responsible for removal of ubiquitin conjugated to Nrf2 or Keap1 remains unknown. In this dissertation, we identified two molecular mechanisms that are important in understanding how the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway is regulated: (i) USP15 negatively regulates the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway by deubiquitinating Keap1 and (ii) deubiquitinated-Keap1 binds in the Cul3-Keap1-E3 ligase complex more tightly than ubiquitinated-Keap1. Additionally, (iii) we demonstrated the importance of the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway in USP15-dependent paclitaxel-chemoresistance.Under oxidative stressed or induced conditions the ability of the E3-ligase to target Nrf2 for degradation becomes impaired. As a result, Nrf2 is stabilized and free Nrf2 translocates to the nucleus and initiates transcription of ARE-bearing genes. Activation of this pathway is advantageous for chemoprevention. In Chapters 4 and 5, we identified and characterized two activators of the Nrf2 cytoprotective pathway, oridonin and cinnamic aldehyde. These compounds inhibit Cul3-Keap1-dependent degradation of Nrf2, stabilize Nrf2 protein levels, and activate the antioxidant response. Furthermore, both compounds are able to protect against cytotoxic and genotoxic stress-induced cell death. Moreover, our study on USP15 has elucidated an additional mechanism that allows small molecules, such as oridonin, to activate Nrf2 by causing a switch in ubiquitination from Nrf2 to Keap1. Taken together, these findings further our understanding of how the Nrf2-Keap1 pathway is regulated, which is imperative in targeting this pathway for chemoprevention or chemotherapy.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Pharmacology & Toxicology