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Ginnalin A Binds to the Subpockets of Keap1 Kelch Domain To Activate the Nrf2-Regulated Antioxidant Defense System in SH-SY5Y Cells

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journal contribution
posted on 11.02.2021, 22:13 by Zhuang Zhang, Lanlan Peng, Yaru Fu, Wenjuan Wang, Pengcheng Wang, Feimeng Zhou
Ginnalin A (GA), a polyphenol from the red maple, was reported to be a potential ROS scavenger or an activator of nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) in cancer cells. However, whether GA could activate Nrf2 in neuronal cells and the exact mode of action are unknown. We performed molecular docking calculations, which revealed that GA fits well into the five subpockets of the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein1 (Keap1) Kelch domain via hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interaction. Our cytotoxicity assays demonstrate that pretreating SH-SY5Y cells with 20 μM GA effectively prevents cells from oxidative assault by 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Fluorescence imaging indicates that upon the GA pretreatment, Nrf2 dissociates from the Keap1–Nrf2 complex and translocates into nucleus to activate the cellular antixodant system. Real-time qPCR quantification and Western blotting verified that the GA pretreatment elevates NAD­(P)­H quinone oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1) by more than 4.6-fold, heme oxygenase (HO-1) by about 1.2-fold, and the glutamate–cysteine ligase catalytic (GCLC) subunit by 0.7-fold. The higher antixidant protein levels, along with increased glutathione concentration, decrease intracellular reactive oxygen species and alleviate the 6-OHDA-induced oxidative damage. Silence of Nrf2 abrogates the cytoprotection of the GA pretreatment, confirming that the Keap1/Nrf2-ARE (antioxidant response element) pathway is solely responsible for the GA’s biological effects. GA is a promising natural compound for sensitizing neuronal cells’ antioxidative defense system to offset oxidative stress, a condition closely linked to the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.