Identification of novel Nrf2/Keap1 pathway mutations in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Akin-Bali D. F., AKTAŞ S. H., Unal M. A., Kankilic T.

PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGY AND ONCOLOGY, vol.37, no.1, pp.58-75, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/08880018.2019.1682090
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.58-75
  • Keywords: Molecular dynamics, mutation, NF-kappa B1, p105, Nrf2, Keap1 pathway, pediatric leukemia, NF-KAPPA-B, KEAP1-NRF2 PATHWAY, SIGNALING PATHWAY, NRF2, ACTIVATION, GENE, DYSREGULATION, COMMON
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a malignancy of lymphoid progenitor cells, characterized by a wide range of biological and clinical heterogeneity. Oxidative stress is a common problem observed in carcinogenesis and it is involved in developing treatment resistance. Nuclear Factor Erythroid-2-Like 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor is the main regulator of antioxidant responses. The levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are tightly controlled and regulated by Nrf2 and its suppressor protein Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1). Recently, many studies have shown that most of the genes in the Nrf2/Keap1/nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappa B)/phosphotyrosine-independent ligand for the Lck SH2 domain Of 62 KDa (p62) pathway show abnormally high mutational variations in cancer. However, variations in the Nrf2/Keap1/NF-kappa B1/p62 pathway in pediatric ALL have not been thoroughly investigated, yet. Thirty children, who were diagnosed with pediatirc ALL were included in the study. The Nrf2/Keap1/NF-kappa B1/p62 pathway variants were analyzed by DNA sequencing analysis. The PolyPhen-2 program was used for identifying pathogenic mutations. Our study examined the molecular dynamics (MD) perspectives of the effect of A159T and E121K mutations on protein stability for the first time in the literature by using the GROMACS45 software package utilizing the OPSLAA force field. Of the detected 17 nucleotide changes, 6 were novel. The study predicted the potential pathological effect of two mutations p. A159T and p.E121K in the Keap1 gene. The MD perspectives revealed that the E121K mutant's observed structural behavior accounted for the key role of His-129 and E121K, where E121K exhibited much higher drift compared to His-129. For a future perspective, it would be meaningful to study the protein-small molecule interactions of the Keap1 protein to elaborate on the drug effects in patients carrying these mutations.