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      Annatto-Derived Tocotrienol Promotes Mineralization of MC3T3-E1 Cells by Enhancing BMP-2 Protein Expression via Inhibiting RhoA Activation and HMG-CoA Reductase Gene Expression

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          Annatto-derived tocotrienol (AnTT) has been shown to improve bone formation in animal models of osteoporosis and promote differentiation of pre-osteoblastic cells. However, the mechanism of action of AnTT in achieving these effects is unclear. This study aims to investigate the mechanism of action of AnTT on MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblasts via the mevalonate pathway.


          Murine pre-osteoblastic cells, MC3T3-E1, were cultured with the density of 1 × 10 4 cells/mL and treated with 4 concentrations of AnTT (0.001–1 µg/mL). Expression of HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR) gene was carried out using qPCR after treatment with AnTT for 21 days. RhoA activation and bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) were measured using immunoassay after 9 and 15 days of AnTT treatment. Lovastatin was used as the positive control. Mineralized nodules were detected using Von Kossa staining after 21 days of AnTT treatment.


          The results showed that HMGR was up-regulated in the lovastatin group on day 9 and 21 compared to the control. Lovastatin also inhibited RhoA activation (day 9 and 15) and increased BMP-2 protein (day 15). On the other hand, AnTT at 0.001 μg/mL (day 3) and 0.1 μg/mL (day 21) significantly down-regulated HMGR gene expression compared to the control. On day 21, HMGR gene expression was significantly reduced in all groups compared to day 15. AnTT at 0.1 μg/mL significantly decreased RhoA activation on day 9 compared to the control. AnTT at 1 μg/mL significantly increased BMP-2 protein on day 15 compared to the control (P<0.05). Mineralized calcium nodules were more abundant in AnTT treated groups compared to the control on day 21.


          AnTT suppresses the mevalonate pathway by downregulating HMGR gene expression and inhibiting RhoA activation, leading to increased BMP-2 protein in MC3T3-E1 cells. This explains the stimulating effects of AnTT on osteoblast mineralization.

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          Most cited references 37

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            TGF-β and BMP Signaling in Osteoblast Differentiation and Bone Formation

            Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)/bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling is involved in a vast majority of cellular processes and is fundamentally important throughout life. TGF-β/BMPs have widely recognized roles in bone formation during mammalian development and exhibit versatile regulatory functions in the body. Signaling transduction by TGF-β/BMPs is specifically through both canonical Smad-dependent pathways (TGF-β/BMP ligands, receptors and Smads) and non-canonical Smad-independent signaling pathway (e.g. p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, MAPK). Following TGF-β/BMP induction, both the Smad and p38 MAPK pathways converge at the Runx2 gene to control mesenchymal precursor cell differentiation. The coordinated activity of Runx2 and TGF-β/BMP-activated Smads is critical for formation of the skeleton. Recent advances in molecular and genetic studies using gene targeting in mice enable a better understanding of TGF-β/BMP signaling in bone and in the signaling networks underlying osteoblast differentiation and bone formation. This review summarizes the recent advances in our understanding of TGF-β/BMP signaling in bone from studies of genetic mouse models and human diseases caused by the disruption of TGF-β/BMP signaling. This review also highlights the different modes of cross-talk between TGF-β/BMP signaling and the signaling pathways of MAPK, Wnt, Hedgehog, Notch, and FGF in osteoblast differentiation and bone formation.
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              Protein prenylation: molecular mechanisms and functional consequences.

              Prenylation is a class of lipid modification involving covalent addition of either farnesyl (15-carbon) or geranylgeranyl (20-carbon) isoprenoids to conserved cysteine residues at or near the C-terminus of proteins. Known prenylated proteins include fungal mating factors, nuclear lamins, Ras and Ras-related GTP-binding proteins (G proteins), the subunits of trimeric G proteins, protein kinases, and at least one viral protein. Prenylation promotes membrane interactions of most of these proteins, which is not surprising given the hydrophobicity of the lipids involved. In addition, however, prenylation appears to play a major role in several protein-protein interactions involving these species. The emphasis in this review is on the enzymology of prenyl protein processing and the functional significance of prenylation in cellular events. Several other recent reviews provide more detailed coverage of aspects of prenylation that receive limited attention here owing to length restrictions (1-4).

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                03 March 2020
                : 14
                : 969-976
                [1 ]Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC) , Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia
                [2 ]Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC) , Kuala Lumpur 56000, Malaysia
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ima Nirwana Soelaiman Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM Medical Centre (UKMMC) , Jalan Yaacob Latiff, Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur56000, MalaysiaTel +60 3 9145 5002Fax +60 3 9145 6633 Email imasoel@ppukm.ukm.edu.my
                © 2020 Wan Hasan et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 4, References: 52, Pages: 8
                Original Research

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine

                vitamin e, tocotrienol, osteoporosis, osteogenic, bone


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