Changes in intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels due to remodeling of antioxidant defense can affect the status of biological homeostasis in aging/oxidative stress. Peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6), an antioxidant gene downstream target for the Nrf2 pathway, plays a role in regulating ROS homeostasis. Using aging human (h) lens epithelial cells (LECs) or Prdx6-deficient (Prdx6−/−) mouse (m) LECs, here we showed that dichlorofluorescein (DCF) oxidation or H2O2 were strictly controlled by Prdx6. We observed that a moderate degree of oxidative stress augmented Nrf2-mediated Prdx6 expression, while higher doses of H2O2 (≥100 µM) caused a dramatic loss of Prdx6 expression, resulting in increased DCF oxidation and H2O2 amplification and cell death. Mechanistically, at increased oxidative stress, Nrf2 upregulated transcriptional factor Klf9, and that Klf9 bound to the promoter and repressed the Prdx6 gene. Similarly, cells overexpressing Klf9 displayed Klf9-dependent Prdx6 suppression and DCF oxidation with H2O2 amplification, while ShKlf9 reversed the process. Our data revealed that H2O2 and DCF oxidation levels play a hormetical role, and the Nrf2-Klf9-Prdx6 pathway is pivotal for the phenomena under the conditions of oxidative load/aging. On the whole, the results demonstrate that oxidative hormetical response is essentially based on levels of oxidative triggering and the status of Klf9-Prdx6 pathway activation; thus, Klf9 can be considered as a therapeutic target for hormetic shifting of cellular defense to improve protective resilience to oxidative stress.
- oxidative stress
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