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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 21;8(6):e67126. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067126. Print 2013.

FoxO3a Serves as a Biomarker of Oxidative Stress in Human Lens Epithelial Cells under Conditions of Hyperglycemia.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, United States of America.



Forkhead box 'O' transcription factors (FoxOs) are implicated in the pathogenesis of type2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Abnormal activity of FoxOs was reported in the glucose and insulin metabolism. Expression of FoxO proteins was reported in ocular tissues; however their function under hyperglycemic conditions was not examined.


Human lens epithelial cell line was used to study the function of FoxO proteins. Immunofluorescence, flow cytometry and Western blotting were employed to detect the FoxO proteins under the conditions of hyperglycemia.


In this study we examined the role of FoxO3a in hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress in human lens epithelial cells. FoxO3a protein expression was elevated in a dose- and time-dependent fashion after high glucose treatment. Anti-oxidant defense mechanisms of the lens epithelial cells were diminished as evidenced from loss of mitochondrial membrane integrity and lowered MnSOD after 72 h treatment with high glucose. Taken together, FoxO3a acts as a sensitive indicator of oxidative stress and cell homeostasis in human lens epithelial cells during diabetic conditions.


FoxO3a is an early stress response protein to glucose toxicity in diabetic conditions.

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