NUPR1 is a critical repressor of ferroptosis

Jiao Liu, Xinxin Song, Feimei Kuang, Qiuhong Zhang, Yangchun Xie, Rui Kang, Guido Kroemer, Daolin Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Ferroptosis is a type of iron-dependent regulated cell death, representing an emerging disease-modulatory mechanism. Transcription factors play multiple roles in ferroptosis, although the key regulator for ferroptosis in iron metabolism remains elusive. Using NanoString technology, we identify NUPR1, a stress-inducible transcription factor, as a driver of ferroptosis resistance. Mechanistically, NUPR1-mediated LCN2 expression blocks ferroptotic cell death through diminishing iron accumulation and subsequent oxidative damage. Consequently, LCN2 depletion mimics NUPR1 deficiency with respect to ferroptosis induction, whereas transfection-enforced re-expression of LCN2 restores resistance to ferroptosis in NUPR1-deficient cells. Pharmacological or genetic blockade of the NUPR1-LCN2 pathway (using NUPR1 shRNA, LCN2 shRNA, pancreas-specific Lcn2 conditional knockout mice, or the small molecule ZZW-115) increases the activity of the ferroptosis inducer erastin and worsens pancreatitis, in suitable mouse models. These findings suggest a link between NUPR1-regulated iron metabolism and ferroptosis susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number647
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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