Toxicogenomics of endoplasmic reticulum stress inducer tunicamycin in the small intestine and liver of Nrf2 knockout and C57BL/6J mice

Sujit Nair, Changjiang Xu, Guoxiang Shen, Vidya Hebbar, Avantika Gopalakrishnan, Rong Hu, Mohit Raja Jain, Celine Liew, Jefferson Y. Chan, Ah Ng Tony Kong

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This objective of this study was to investigate the toxicogenomics and the spatial regulation of global gene expression profiles elicited by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress inducer tunicamycin (TM) in mouse small intestine and liver as well as to identify TM-modulated nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-dependent genes. Gene expression profiles were analyzed using 45,000 Affymetrix mouse genome 430 2.0 array and GeneSpring 7.2 software. Microarray results were validated by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR analyses. Clusters of genes that were either induced or suppressed more than two-fold by TM treatment compared with vehicle in C57BL/6J/Nrf2 (-/-; knockout) and C57BL/6J Nrf2 (+/+; wildtype) mice genotypes were identified. Amongst these, in small intestine and liver, 1291 and 750 genes, respectively, were identified as Nrf2-dependent and upregulated, and 1370 and 943 genes, respectively, as Nrf2-dependent and downregulated. Based on their biological functions, these genes can be categorized into molecular chaperones and heat shock proteins, ubiquitination/proteolysis, apoptosis/cell cycle, electron transport, detoxification, cell growth/differentiation, signaling molecules/interacting partners, kinases and phosphatases, transport, biosynthesis/metabolism, nuclear assembly and processing, and genes related to calcium and glucose homeostasis. Phase II detoxification/antioxidant genes as well as putative interacting partners of Nrf2 such as nuclear corepressors and coactivators, were also identified as Nrf2-dependent genes. The identification of TM-regulated and Nrf2-dependent genes in the unfolded protein response to ER stress not only provides potential novel insights into the gestalt biological effects of TM on the toxicogenomics and spatial regulation of global gene expression profiles in cancer pharmacology and toxicology, but also points to the pivotal role of Nrf2 in these biological processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalToxicology Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Endoplasmic reticulum stress
  • Global gene expression profiles
  • Microarray
  • Nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2
  • Tunicamycin

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