The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) transcription factor activates cytoprotective and metabolic gene expression in response to various electrophilic stressors. Constitutive NRF2 activity promotes cancer progression, whereas decreased NRF2 function contributes to neurodegenerative diseases. We used proximity proteomic analysis to define protein networks for NRF2 and its family members NRF1, NRF3, and the NRF2 heterodimer MAFG. A functional screen of co-complexed proteins revealed previously uncharacterized regulators of NRF2 transcriptional activity. We found that ZNF746 (also known as PARIS), a zinc finger transcription factor implicated in Parkinson’s disease, physically associated with NRF2 and MAFG, resulting in suppression of NRF2-driven transcription. ZNF746 overexpression increased oxidative stress and apoptosis in a neuronal cell model of Parkinson’s disease, phenotypes that were reversed by chemical and genetic hyperactivation of NRF2. This study presents a functionally annotated proximity network for NRF2 and suggests a link between ZNF746 overexpression in Parkinson’s disease and inhibition of NRF2-driven neuroprotection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereadi9018
JournalScience signaling
Issue number815
StatePublished - 2023


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