Molecular Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 237–244 | Cite as

Nrf2 Activates Augmenter of Liver Regeneration (ALR) via Antioxidant Response Element and Links Oxidative Stress to Liver Regeneration

  • Rania Dayoub
  • Arndt Vogel
  • Jutta Schuett
  • Madeleine Lupke
  • Susannah M. Spieker
  • Nadja Kettern
  • Eberhard Hildt
  • Michael Melter
  • Thomas S. Weiss
Research Article


Liver regeneration can be impaired by permanent oxidative stress and activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), known to regulate the cellular antioxidant response, and has been shown to improve the process of liver regeneration. A variety of factors regulate hepatic tissue regeneration, among them augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR), attained great attention as being survival factors for the liver with proproliferative and antiapoptotic properties. Here we determined the Nrf2/ antioxidant response element (ARE) regulated expression of ALR and show ALR as a target gene of Nrf2 in vitro and in vivo. The ALR promoter comprises an ARE binding site and, therefore, ALR expression can be induced by ARE-activator tertiary butylhydroquinone (tBHQ) in hepatoma cells and primary human hepatocytes (PHH). Promoter activity and expression of ALR were enhanced after cotransfection of Nrf2 compared with control and dominant negative mutant of Nrf2. Performing partial hepatectomy in livers from Nrf2+/+ mice compared with Nrf2−/− knock-out (KO) mice, we found increased expression of ALR in addition to known antioxidant ARE-regulated genes. Furthermore, we observed increased ALR expression in hepatitis B virus (HBV) compared with hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive hepatoma cells and PHH. Recently, it was demonstrated that HBV infection activates Nrf2 and, now, we add results showing increased ALR expression in liver samples from patients infected with HBV. ALR is regulated by Nrf2, acts as a liver regeneration and antioxidative protein and, therefore, links oxidative stress to hepatic regeneration to ensure survival of damaged cells.



The authors are grateful to Friederike Schrenk, Elke Gerstl and Renate Lange, Department of Pediatrics and Juvenile Medicine, University of Regensburg Hospital, Germany, for their excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by the Excellence Cluster REBIRTH for A Vogel, the Medical Faculty of the University of Regensburg ReForM-C for TS Weiss and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) Virtual Liver Network grant FKZ 0315753 to TS Weiss.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Rania Dayoub
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arndt Vogel
    • 3
  • Jutta Schuett
    • 3
  • Madeleine Lupke
    • 1
  • Susannah M. Spieker
    • 1
  • Nadja Kettern
    • 4
  • Eberhard Hildt
    • 4
  • Michael Melter
    • 1
  • Thomas S. Weiss
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics and Juvenile MedicineUniversity of Regensburg HospitalRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Center for Liver Cell ResearchUniversity of Regensburg HospitalRegensburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of GastroenterologyHepatology and Endocrinology, Hannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  4. 4.Department of VirologyPaul-Ehrlich-InstitutLangenGermany

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