NRF2 (Nuclear factor Erythroid 2-related Factor 2) signaling is impaired in Friedreich's Ataxia (FRDA) and molecules able to activate NRF2 have the potential to induce clinical benefits in patients. In this study, the authors compared the efficacy of six redox-active drugs, some already adopted in clinical trials, targeting NRF2 activation and frataxin expression in fibroblasts obtained from skin biopsies of FRDA patients. All of these drugs consistently increased NRF2 expression, but differential profiles of NRF2 downstream genes were activated. The Sulforaphane and N-acetylcysteine were particularly effective on genes involved in preventing inflammation and maintaining glutathione homeostasis, the dimethyl fumarate, omaxevolone, and EPI-743 in counteracting toxic products accumulation, the idebenone in mitochondrial protection. This study may contribute to develop synergic therapies, based on a combination of treatment molecules.
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