Indexed on: 18 Jun '09Published on: 18 Jun '09Published in: Expert opinion on therapeutic targets
Nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that controls the basal and inducible expression of a battery of antioxidant genes and other cytoprotective Phase II detoxifying enzymes. Nrf2 is ubiquitously expressed in the cardiovascular system. While several Nrf2 downstream genes have been implicated in protection against the pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, the precise role of Nrf2 in the cardiovascular system remains to be elucidated. Nevertheless, mounting evidence has revealed that Nrf2 is a critical regulator of cardiovascular homeostasis via the suppression of oxidative stress, a major causative factor for the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, Nrf2 promises to be an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Herein, we review the current literature that suggests that Nrf2 is a valuable therapeutic target for cardiovascular disease, as well as experiments that illustrate the mechanisms of Nrf2 cardioprotection.