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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 120305, 12 pages
Research Article

Novel Hematopoietic Target Genes in the NRF2-Mediated Transcriptional Pathway

1Environmental Genomics Section, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences-National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
2US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
3National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Mail Drop C3-03, P.O. Box 12233, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA

Received 10 January 2013; Revised 16 April 2013; Accepted 29 April 2013

Academic Editor: Hye-Youn Cho

Copyright © 2013 Michelle R. Campbell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nuclear factor- (erythroid-derived 2) like 2 (NFE2L2, NRF2) is a key transcriptional activator of the antioxidant response pathway and is closely related to erythroid transcription factor NFE2. Under oxidative stress, NRF2 heterodimerizes with small Maf proteins and binds cis-acting enhancer sequences found near oxidative stress response genes. Using the dietary isothiocyanate sulforaphane (SFN) to activate NRF2, chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) identified several hundred novel NRF2-mediated targets beyond its role in oxidative stress. Activated NRF2 bound the antioxidant response element (ARE) in promoters of several known and novel target genes involved in iron homeostasis and heme metabolism, including known targets FTL and FTH1, as well as novel binding in the globin locus control region. Five novel NRF2 target genes were chosen for followup: AMBP, ABCB6, FECH, HRG-1 (SLC48A1), and TBXAS1. SFN-induced gene expression in erythroid K562 and lymphoid cells were compared for each target gene. NRF2 silencing showed reduced expression in lymphoid, lung, and hepatic cells. Furthermore, stable knockdown of NRF2 negative regulator KEAP1 in K562 cells resulted in increased NQO1, AMBP, and TBXAS1 expression. NFE2 binding sites in K562 cells revealed similar binding profiles as lymphoid NRF2 sites in all potential NRF2 candidates supporting a role for NRF2 in heme metabolism and erythropoiesis.