Nrf2 activation in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases: A focus on its role in mitochondrial bioenergetics and function

Noemí Esteras (Lead / Corresponding author), Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova, Andrey Y. Abramov (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    111 Citations (Scopus)
    392 Downloads (Pure)


    The nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2 (NF-E2)-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor well-known for its function in controlling the basal and inducible expression of a variety of antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes. As part of its cytoprotective activity, increasing evidence supports its role in metabolism and mitochondrial bioenergetics and function. Neurodegenerative diseases are excellent candidates for Nrf2-targeted treatments. Most neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia and Friedreich ataxia are characterized by oxidative stress, misfolded protein aggregates, and chronic inflammation, the common targets of Nrf2 therapeutic strategies. Together with them, mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in the pathogenesis of most neurodegenerative disorders. The recently recognized ability of Nrf2 to regulate intermediary metabolism and mitochondrial function makes Nrf2 activation an attractive and comprehensive strategy for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. This review aims to focus on the potential therapeutic role of Nrf2 activation in neurodegeneration, with special emphasis on mitochondrial bioenergetics and function, metabolism and the role of transporters, all of which collectively contribute to the cytoprotective activity of this transcription factor.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)383-400
    Number of pages18
    JournalBiological Chemistry
    Issue number5
    Early online date13 Jan 2016
    Publication statusPublished - May 2016


    • bioenergetics
    • GSK-3
    • Keap1
    • mitochondria
    • neurodegeneration
    • Nrf2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry
    • Clinical Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology


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