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Mol Cancer Ther. 2008 Jun;7(6):1604-14. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-2424.

Pinitol targets nuclear factor-kappaB activation pathway leading to inhibition of gene products associated with proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and angiogenesis.

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Cytokine Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Pinitol (3-O-methyl-chiroinositol), a component of traditional Ayurvedic medicine (talisapatra), has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory and antidiabetic activities through undefined mechanisms. Because the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) has been linked with inflammatory diseases, including insulin resistance, we hypothesized that pinitol must mediate its effects through modulation of NF-kappaB activation pathway. We found that pinitol suppressed NF-kappaB activation induced by inflammatory stimuli and carcinogens. This suppression was not specific to cell type. Besides inducible, pinitol also abrogated constitutive NF-kappaB activation noted in most tumor cells. The suppression of NF-kappaB activation by pinitol occurred through inhibition of the activation of IkappaBalpha kinase, leading to sequential suppression of IkappaBalpha phosphorylation, IkappaBalpha degradation, p65 phosphorylation, p65 nuclear translocation, and NF-kappaB-dependent reporter gene expression. Pinitol also suppressed the NF-kappaB reporter activity induced by tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR)-1, TNFR-associated death domain, TNFR-associated factor-2, transforming growth factor-beta-activated kinase-1 (TAK-1)/TAK1-binding protein-1, and IkappaBalpha kinase but not that induced by p65. The inhibition of NF-kappaB activation thereby led to down-regulation of gene products involved in inflammation (cyclooxygenase-2), proliferation (cyclin D1 and c-myc), invasion (matrix metalloproteinase-9), angiogenesis (vascular endothelial growth factor), and cell survival (cIAP1, cIAP2, X-linked inhibitor apoptosis protein, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xL). Suppression of these gene products by pinitol enhanced the apoptosis induced by TNF and chemotherapeutic agents and suppressed TNF-induced cellular invasion. Our results show that pinitol inhibits the NF-kappaB activation pathway, which may explain its ability to suppress inflammatory cellular responses.

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