Transcription factors NRF2 and nf-kb are coordinated effectors of the RHO family, GTP binding protein rac1 during inflammation [Signal Transduction]

April 23rd, 2014 by Cuadrado, A., Martin-Moldes, Z., Ye, J., Lastres-Becker, I.

The small GTPase protein RAC1 participates in innate immunity by activating a complex program that includes cytoskeleton remodeling, chemiotaxis, activation of NADPH oxidase and modulation of gene expression. However, its role in regulating the transcriptional signatures that in term control the cellular inflammatory profiles are not well defined. Here, we investigated the functional and mechanistic connection between RAC1 and the transcription factor NRF2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2), master regulator of the anti-oxidant response. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and constitutively active RAC1Q61L mutant induced the anti-oxidant enzyme heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) through activation of NRF2. The use of KEAP1-insensitive NRF2 mutants indicated that RAC1 regulation of NRF2 is KEAP1-independent. Interestingly, NRF2 over-expression inhibited while a dominant-negative mutant of NRF2 exacerbated RAC1-dependent activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-kB), suggesting that NRF2 has an antagonistic effect on the NF-kB pathway. Moreover, we found that RAC1 acts through NF-kB to induce NRF2 because either expression of a dominant negative mutant of IκBα that leads to NF-κB degradation or the use of p65-NF-κB-deficient cells demonstrated lower NRF2 protein levels and basally impaired NRF2 signature compared to control cells. In contrast, NRF2 deficient cells showed increased p65-NF-κB protein levels although the mRNA levels remain unchanged, indicating post-translational alterations. Our results demonstrate a new mechanism of modulation of RAC1 inflammatory pathway through a crosstalk between NF-kB and NRF2.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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