Heme oxygenase-1: Molecular mechanisms of gene expression in oxygen-related stress
Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
Disturbances of intracellular redox equilibrium may alter eukaryotic gene expression patterns in the manifestation of an adaptive stress response. The inducible heme oxygenase-1 gene, ho-1, responds dramatically to changes in cellular redox potential provoked by multiple agents (oxidants, xenobiotics, reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, and ultraviolet-A radiation) as well as deviations in oxygen tension in excess or deficit of normal physiological levels. This dual response to hyperoxic and hypoxic states renders ho-1 an intriguing model system for studying oxygen-regulated gene expression. The complexation or depletion of reduced glutathione apparently represents an underlying mechanism by which oxidants trigger the response. Chelatable iron levels also influence the induction of ho-1 as evidenced by the inhibitory effects of iron-chelating compounds. Redox-sensitive protein kinase cascades (e.g., mitogen-activated protein kinases) participate in ho-1 regulation. Recent progress in understanding ho-1 transcription has identified two distal enhancer regions (E1, E2) in the mouse ho-1 gene that mediate the response to many inducing conditions. This review will examine the potential roles of iron, glutathione, and reactive oxygen species in the upstream events leading to ho-1 activation following oxygen related stress.