Tanshinone IIA Activates Nuclear Factor-Erythroid 2-Related Factor 2 to Restrain Pulmonary Fibrosis via Regulation of Redox Homeostasis and Glutaminolysis.
Antioxid Redox Signal. 2019 May 20 ;30(15):1831-1848. Epub 2018 Sep 22. PMID: 30105924
AIMS: Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is characterized by myofibroblast activation through oxidative stress. However, the precise regulation of myofibroblast transdifferentiation remains largely uncharacterized.
RESULTS: In this study, we found that tanshinone IIA (Tan-IIA), an active component in the root of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, can suppress reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated activation of myofibroblast and reduce extracellular matrix deposition in bleomycin (BLM)-challenged mice through the regulation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Additionally, Tan-IIA restored redox homeostasis by upregulating Nrf2 with NADPH oxidase 4 suppression and effectively prevented myofibroblast activation by blocking ROS-mediated protein kinase C delta (PKCδ)/Smad3 signaling. Nrf2 knockdown in the fibroblasts and the lungs of BLM-treated mice reduced the inhibitory effects of Tan-IIA, indicating the essential role of Nrf2 in the Tan-IIA activity. Tan-IIA impaired the binding of kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) to Nrf2 by promoting the degradation of Keap1 and thereby increasing Nrf2 induction by protecting Nrf2 stability against ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Importantly, we also found that the glutamate anaplerotic pathway was involved in energy generation and biosynthesis in activated myofibroblasts and their proliferation. Tan-IIA shunted glutaminolysis into glutathione (GSH) production by activating Nrf2, resulting in the reduction of glutamate availability for tricarboxylic acid cycle. Ultimately, myofibroblast activation was prevented by impairing cell proliferation. Innovation and Conclusion: In addition tothe regulation of redox homeostasis, our work showed that Tan-IIA activated Nrf2/GSH signaling pathway to limit glutaminolysis in myofibroblast proliferation, which provided further insight into the critical function of Nrf2 in PF.