Nrf2 is a protein that regulates the cellular response to oxidative stress, according to Nrf2.com. It is a transcription factor that is activated by free radical damage, which causes the protein to enter the nucleus and bind to antioxidant response elements, known as AREs, leading to an antioxidant response.
Since the free radicals that cause oxidative stress can lead to protein and DNA damage, Nrf2 activation is important for cell survival. A recent article in the Molecular Aspects of Medicine research journal, posted by ScienceDirect, concludes that this gives Nrf2 considerable therapeutic potential. For example, the deliberate activation of Nrf2 by dietary supplements such as Protandim can dramatically increase Nrf2 activity, even in the absence of oxidative stress. This could be medically beneficial to patients suffering from colon cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's and a number of additional ailments.