Nrf2: A Candidate Therapeutic Target to Dampen Oxidative Stress in Acute Myocardial Infarction
AdvisorChen, Qin M.
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.
AbstractThis literature review posits that the transcription factor Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) is an attractive candidate therapeutic target in the setting of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). This transcription factor binds to antioxidant response elements (ARE) in the promoter region of a battery of genes that collectively encode an array of antioxidant, phase II drug metabolism, metabolically stabilizing, and overall cytoprotective enzymes, facilitating their transcription at basal levels and increasing transcription in response to various cellular stressors. Following a brief background tutorial on normal cardiac myocyte cellular physiology, key events that occur early in ischemia and reperfusion are outlined and integrated. These include ionic and metabolic dysregulation, electron transport chain uncoupling, mitochondrial depolarization, and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Abrupt changes in response to ischemia prime opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) and cardiac myocytes to generate a burst of ROS upon reperfusion–two key events that contribute to the umbrella term ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). How ROS damage cells is then outlined, and through a ROS-centric viewpoint, a case will be made as to how exogenous upregulation of Nrf2 could protect and/or salvage at-risk tissue immediately subjected to infarction and neighboring tissue in the peri-infarct zone (PIZ). The history of how Nrf2 came to be known as the "master regulator of oxidative stress" is reviewed, as well as the discovery of the canonical mechanism of Nrf2 regulation via Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) and other alternative mechanisms of endogenous Nrf2 regulation. Finally, compiling interdisciplinary evidence from research publications around the world, the benefits of therapeutically targeting Nrf2 are considered given the timescale and context of acute MI. Drug delivery methods, potential challenges, and limitations are then considered. Cardiac tissue is a dynamic substrate that exhibits changes for up to 90 days after AMI and patient outcomes are directly related to the extent of tissue lost following infarction/reperfusion. Targeting Nrf2 addresses an unmet need, as current clinical therapies focus on precluding occlusions and prompt reperfusion of infarcted tissue, but do not explicitly target at-risk tissue following infarcts and/or present-day reperfusion methodologies.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Cellular and Molecular Medicine