Induction of Nrf2-regulated genes by 3H-1, 2-dithiole-3-thione through the ERK signaling pathway in murine keratinocytes

Sarala Manandhar, Jeong Min Cho, Jung Ae Kim, Thomas W. Kensler, Mi Kyoung Kwak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Electrophile and free radical detoxifying enzymes including NAD(P)H:quinine oxidoreductase 1 (Nqo1) play an important role in the defense system by enhancing cellular antioxidant capacity. Chemopreventive efficacy of 3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione (D3T) is mediated through activation of the transcription factor Nrf2 and subsequent elevation of detoxifying enzymes. In the present study, we have investigated the potential role of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in regulation of D3T-induced and Nrf2-dependent gene expression in murine keratinocytes. Expression levels of Nqo1 were highly inducible by D3T treatment and increased nuclear levels of Nrf2 were observed in these cells. Treatment with pharmacological inhibitor of ERK1/2 largely blocked nuclear accumulation of Nrf2, ARE-driven reporter gene expression, and induction of Nqo1, as well as other phase 2 genes. Activation of ERK1/2 has been demonstrated following treatment with D3T. While, inhibitors of p38, PKC and PI3K did not affect ARE-driven gene expression. Involvement of the ERK1/2 cascade in inducible ARE-transcription activities was also observed in cells treated with other types of inducers oltipraz, sulforaphane and hydrogen peroxide. Collectively, current study suggests that phosphorylation cascade via ERK1/2 is associated with the activation process of Nrf2 and subsequent transactivation of its target gene Nqo1 following treatment with dithiolethione in murine keratinocyte.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 22 2007


  • Chemopreventive agent
  • Dithiolethiones
  • ERK
  • Nrf2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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