Redox-sensitive interaction between KIAA0132 and Nrf2 mediates indomethacin-induced expression of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase

Konjeti R. Sekhar, Douglas R. Spitz, Stephanie Harris, Trung T. Nguyen, Michael J. Meredith, Jeffrey T. Holt, David Guis, Lawrence J. Marnett, Marshall L. Summar, Michael L. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Exposure of HepG2 cells to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (i.e., indomethacin and ibuprofen; NSAIDs) as well as resveratrol, caused increased expression of the mRNAs coding for the catalytic (Gclc) and modifier (Gclm) subunits of the glutathione synthetic enzyme, γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase. In addition, indomethacin exposure increased intracellular glutathione content as well as inhibited glutathione depletion and cytotoxicity caused by diethyl maleate. Indomethacin-induced increases in the expression of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase mRNA were preceded by increases in steady state levels of intracellular pro-oxidants and glutathione disulfide accumulation. Simultaneous incubation with the thiol antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC) inhibited indomethacin-mediated increases in GCLC mRNA, suggesting that increases in GCLC message were triggered by changes in intracellular oxidation/reduction (redox) reactions. Indirect immunofluorescence using intact cells demonstrated that indomethacin induced the nuclear translocation of Nrf2, a transcription factor believed to regulate GCLC expression. Immunoprecipitation studies showed that indomethacin treatment also inhibited Nrf2 tethering to KIAA0132 (the human homolog of Keap1 accession #D50922), which is believed to be a negative regulator of Nrf2. Consistent with this idea, over-expression of Nrf2 increased GCLC reporter gene expression and over-expression of KIAA0132 inhibited GCLC reporter gene activity as well as inhibited indomethacin-induced increases in the expression of GCLC. Finally, simultaneous treatment with NAC inhibited both indomethacin-induced release of Nrf2 from KIAA0132 and indomethacin-induced nuclear translocation of Nrf2. These results demonstrate that NSAIDs and resveratrol cause increases in the expression of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase mRNA and identify these agents as being capable of stimulating glutathione metabolism. These results also support the hypothesis that indomethacin-induced transcriptional activation of GCLC involves the redox-dependent release of KIAA0132 from Nrf2 followed by the nuclear translocation of Nrf2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-662
Number of pages13
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • ARE
  • Free radicals
  • GCLC
  • GCLM
  • Glutathione
  • Glutathione disulfide
  • Indomethacin
  • KIAA0132
  • N-acetylcysteine
  • NSAIDs
  • Nrf2
  • Resveratrol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biochemistry


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