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Monitoring Nrf2/ARE Pathway Activity with a New Zebrafish Reporter System

Badenetti L, Manzoli R, Rubin M, Cozza G, Moro E
Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Apr 6;24(7):6804. doi: 10.3390/ijms24076804
Among multiple cytoprotective mechanisms, eukaryotic cells exhibit a complex transcriptional program relying on the Nrf2 transcription factor, which is generally recruited upon biological stressors including oxidative-stress-based cellular insults. The relevance of this master regulator has remarkably emerged in recent years in several research fields such as cancer, inflammatory disorders and age-related neurological diseases. Here, we document the generation and characterization of a novel Nrf2/ARE pathway biosensor fish which exhibits a dynamic spatiotemporal expression profile during the early developmental stages. The transgenic line is responsive to known Nrf2 pathway modulators but also to Edaravone, which direct activity on the Nrf2 pathway has never been documented in a live transgenic fish model. We also show that the reporter is faithfully activated during fin regeneration, and its degree of expression is slightly affected in a glucocerebrosidase (Gba1) morphant zebrafish model. Therefore, this novel transgenic fish may represent a valuable tool to be exploited for the characterization of zebrafish models of human diseases, as well as for primary high-throughput drug screening.
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