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Glutamate cysteine ligase, the rate-limiting enzyme for the synthesis of glutathione, represents an important component of chemoprevention paradigms. GCLC and GCLM, the genes encoding glutamate cysteine ligase subunits, are induced by indoles, such as indomethacin. Novel functionalized indole analogues and other structurally related compounds were synthesized and used for a comparative structure analysis of GCLC induction. Use of mouse embryo fibroblasts null for Nrf2 (nuclear factor-erythroid 2p45-related transcription factor) and HepG2 cells overexpressing Keap1 demonstrated that indole analogue-mediated GCLC expression was regulated by Nrf2-Keap1 interactions. Indole analogues capable of inducing GCLC were found to increase NADPH oxidase activity. Indole analogues unable to induce GCLC did not increase oxidase activity. HepG2 cells transfected with FLAG/Keap1 were exposed to indomethacin, and the redox state of Keap1 cysteine residues was assessed. The data indicated that Keap1 exhibited several oxidation states that were sensitive to indomethacin treatment. These indomethacin-mediated changes in thiol oxidation states were suppressed by diphenyleneiodonium, a NADPH oxidase inhibitor. Diphenyleneiodonium also suppressed indole analogue-mediated increases in GCLC mRNA. In summary, the use of the indole analogues identified NADPH oxidase activity as a novel upstream activity regulating Nrf2/Keap1 signaling of GCLC, provided data supporting the hypothesis that Keap1 is a downstream effector for oxidase activity, and afforded in vivo data to support the hypothesis that Keap1 thiols can act as molecular sensors of reactive oxygen species. Finally, the comparative structure analysis suggests that 2-indol-3-yl-methylenequinuclidin-3-ols may represent a prototype for the development of novel chemopreventative agents able to activate Keap1/Nrf2 signaling.