Triggers for the nrf2/are signaling pathway and its nutritional regulation: Potential therapeutic applications of ulcerative colitis

Hu Liu, Lee J. Johnston, Fenglai Wang, Xi Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Ulcerative colitis (UC), which affects millions of people worldwide, is characterized by extensive colonic injury involving mucosal and submucosal layers of the colon. Nuclear factor E2‐ related factor 2 (Nrf2) plays a critical role in cellular protection against oxidant‐induced stress. An-tioxidant response element (ARE) is the binding site recognized by Nrf2 and leads to the expression of phase II detoxifying enzymes and antioxidant proteins. The Nrf2/ARE system is a key factor for preventing and resolving tissue injury and inflammation in disease conditions such as UC. Re-searchers have proposed that both Keap1‐dependent and Keap1‐independent cascades contribute positive effects on activation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway. In this review, we summarize the present knowledge on mechanisms controlling the activation process. We will further review nutritional compounds that can modulate activation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway and may be used as potential therapeutic application of UC. These comprehensive data will help us to better understand the Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway and promote its effective application in response to common diseases induced by oxidative stress and inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11411
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, grant number 32102587, 31930106 and 31829004; the National Ten‐thousand Talents Program of China, grant number 23070201; the 2115 Talent Development Program of China Agricultural University, grant number 1041‐00109019; and the 111 Project, grant number B16044.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antioxidant response element
  • Kelch‐like ECH‐associated protein 1
  • Nuclear factor E2‐ related factor 2
  • Nutritional regulation
  • Ulcerative colitis


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