BACKGROUND: Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like (Nrf)2 and metallothionein have been implicated in carcinogenesis. This study investigated the expression of Nrf2 and of Nrf2-targeted genes (NQO1 and GCLC) and the genes for the metallothionein (MT) isoforms (MT-1A and MT-2A) in human lung cancer and cancer-surrounding tissues.<br /><br />METHODS: Surgically removed lung cancer samples (n = 80) and cancer-surrounding tissues (n = 38) were collected from Zunyi Medical College Hospital, China. Total RNA was extracted, purified, and used for real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis of interested genes.<br /><br />RESULTS: Expression of the Nrf2-targed genes NQO1 and GCLC tended to be higher (30 to 60%) in lung cancers, but was not significantly different from that in peri-cancer tissues. By contrast, expression of the genes for M)-1A, MT-2A, and the metal transcription factor MTF-1 were three-fold to four-fold lower in lung cancers.<br /><br />CONCLUSION: In surgical samples of lung cancer, MT expression was generally downregulated, whereas Nrf2 expression tended to be upregulated. These changes could play an integral role in lung carcinogenesis.
Liang, G. Y., Lu, S. X., Xu, G., Liu, X. D., Li, J., & Zhang, D. S. (2013). Expression of metallothionein and Nrf2 pathway genes in lung cancer and cancer-surrounding tissues. World Journal of Surgical Oncology, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7819-11-199