The oxidation resistance gene 1 (OXR1) is crucial for protecting against oxidative stress; however, its molecular function is unknown. We employed RNA sequencing to examine the role of human OXR1 for genome wide transcription regulation. In total, in non-treated and hydrogen peroxide exposed HeLa cells, OXR1 depletion resulted in down-regulation of 554 genes and up-regulation of 253 genes. These differentially expressed genes include transcription factors (i.e. HIF1A, SP6, E2F8 and TCF3), antioxidant genes (PRDX4, PTGS1 and CYGB) and numerous genes of the p53 signaling pathway involved in cell-cycle arrest (i.e. cyclin D, CDK6 and RPRM) and apoptosis (i.e. CytC and CASP9). We demonstrated that OXR1 depleted cells undergo cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase during oxidative stress and increase protein expression of the apoptosis initiator protease CASP9. In summary, OXR1 may act as a sensor of cellular oxidative stress to regulate the transcriptional networks required to detoxify reactive oxygen species and modulate cell cycle and apoptosis.
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