The Nrf2/HO-1 Axis in Cancer Cell Growth and Chemoresistance

Annalisa Furfaro, N. Traverso, C. Domenicotti, S. Piras, L. Moretta, U. M. Marinari, M. A. Pronzato, M. Nitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transcription factor, nuclear factor erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2), acts as a sensor of oxidative or electrophilic stresses and plays a pivotal role in redox homeostasis. Oxidative or electrophilic agents cause a conformational change in the Nrf2 inhibitory protein Keap1 inducing the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor which, through its binding to the antioxidant/electrophilic response element (ARE/EpRE), regulates the expression of antioxidant and detoxifying genes such as heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). Nrf2 and HO-1 are frequently upregulated in different types of tumours and correlate with tumour progression, aggressiveness, resistance to therapy, and poor prognosis. This review focuses on the Nrf2/HO-1 stress response mechanism as a promising target for anticancer treatment which is able to overcome resistance to therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1958174
JournalOxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Ageing
  • Biochemistry


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