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  • Author: Kulbhushan Tikoo x
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Chanchal Gupta and Kulbhushan Tikoo

Various preclinical and clinical studies have linked diabetes and breast cancer, but little is known regarding the molecular mechanism involved. This study aimed to investigate the effect of high glucose and insulin in breast cancer cells (MCF-7: non-invasive, hormone dependent, and MDA-MB-231: invasive, hormone independent). In contrast to MCF-7 cells, high glucose augmented proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells as observed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and bromodeoxyuridine assays. The high-glucose condition led to increased expression of cyclin D1, de-phosphorylation of p38, and increased phosphorylation of ERK in MDA-MB-231 cells but not in MCF-7 cells. Interestingly, we observed increased phosphorylation of GSK-3β, NF-κB, and ERα only in MCF-7 cells, highlighting their role as potential targets in prevention of progression of breast cancer under a high-glucose and insulin condition. Furthermore, insulin treatment under a high-glucose condition resulted in increased histone H3 phosphorylation and de-acetylation only in MDA-MB-231 cells. Taken together, we provide the first evidence that high glucose and insulin promotes proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells by differential alteration of GSK-3β, NF-κB, and ERα expression and histone H3 modifications, which may directly or indirectly modulate the expression of genes involved in its proliferation.

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Vivek Madhukar Surse, Jeena Gupta and Kulbhushan Tikoo

Esculetin, an antioxidant, has been used in the treatment of a variety of diseases. This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of esculetin in attenuating streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type I diabetic nephropathy and to understand the molecular mechanism involved in it. Sprague–Dawley rats were rendered diabetic using a single dose of STZ (55 mg/kg, i.p.). Protein expression of PPARγ and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) was detected by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry respectively. RNA expression levels of Mmp13 and Bmp6 were detected by RT-PCR analysis. In diabetic rats, esculetin treatment resulted in a significant decrease in blood glucose, blood urea nitrogen, and plasma creatinine and increase in plasma albumin levels. Esculetin treatment attenuates the downregulation of PPARγ in diabetic kidney, which in turn blocks the TGF-β1-mediated fibronectin expression. In addition, it attenuates the decrease in mono-methylation (K4) and acetylation of histone H3 in diabetic kidney. RT-PCR analysis revealed that esculetin treatment provides protection by decreasing antifibrotic Bmp6 and increasing fibrogenic Mmp13 mRNA expression in diabetic kidney. This is the first report to show that protection observed by esculetin treatment involves alteration in mRNA expression of Mmp13 and Bmp6 genes either directly via altered histone H3 modifications or indirectly by inhibiting the PPARγ/TGF-β1 pathway.