The Ras GTPase-activating-like protein IQGAP1 mediates Nrf2 protein activation via the mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinase (MEK) -ERK pathway

Cheung, K.L.; Lee, J.H.; Shu, L.; Kim, J.-H.; Sacks, D.B.; Kong, A.-N.T.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 288(31): 22378-22386


ISSN/ISBN: 1083-351X
PMID: 23788642
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.m112.444182
Accession: 056212600

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Nrf2 plays a critical role in the regulation of cellular oxidative stress. MEK-ERK activation has been shown to be one of the major pathways resulting in the activation of Nrf2 and induction of Nrf2 downstream targets, including phase II detoxifying/antioxidant genes in response to oxidative stress and xenobiotics. In this study, IQGAP1 (IQ motif-containing GTPase-activating protein 1), a new Nrf2 interaction partner that we have published previously, was found to modulate MEK-ERK-mediated Nrf2 activation and induction of phase II detoxifying/antioxidant genes. Nrf2 binds directly to the IQ domain (amino acids 699-905) of IQGAP1. Knockdown of IQGAP1 significantly attenuated phenethyl isothiocyanate- or MEK-mediated activation of the MEK-ERK-Nrf2 pathway. Knockdown of IQGAP1 also attenuated MEK-mediated increased stability of Nrf2, which in turn was associated with a decrease in the nuclear translocation of Nrf2 and a decrease in the expression of phase II detoxifying/antioxidant genes. In the aggregate, these results suggest that IQGAP1 may play an important role in the MEK-ERK-Nrf2 signaling pathway.