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Anti-Cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1871-5206
ISSN (Online): 1875-5992

Research Article

Nimbolide, a Neem Limonoid, Inhibits Angiogenesis in Breast Cancer by Abrogating Aldose Reductase Mediated IGF-1/PI3K/Akt Signalling

Author(s): Ramesh Nivetha, Soundararajan Arvindh, Abdul Basit Baba, Deepak Reddy Gade, Gopisetty Gopal, Chitrathara K, Kallamadi Prathap Reddy, G. Bhanuprakash Reddy and Siddavaram Nagini*

Volume 22, Issue 14, 2022

Published on: 29 April, 2022

Page: [2619 - 2636] Pages: 18

DOI: 10.2174/1871520622666220204115151

Price: $65


Background & Objective: The insulin/IGF-1R/PI3K/Akt signalling cascade is increasingly being linked to breast cancer development, with aldose reductase (AR) playing a key role in mediating the crosstalk between this pathway and angiogenesis. The current study was designed to investigate whether nimbolide, a neem limonoid, targets the oncogenic signaling network to prevent angiogenesis in breast cancer.

Methods: Breast cancer cells (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231), EAhy926 endothelial cells, MDA-MB-231 xenografted nude mice, and tumour tissues from breast cancer patients were used for the study. The expression of AR and key players in IGF-1/PI3K/Akt signaling and angiogenesis was evaluated by qRT-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry. Molecular docking and simulation, overexpression, and knockdown experiments were performed to determine whether nimbolide targets AR and IGF-1R.

Results: Nimbolide inhibited AR with consequent blockade of the IGF-1/PI3K/Akt and /HIF-1alpha/VEGF signalling circuit by influencing the phosphorylation and intracellular localisation of key signaling molecules. The downregulation of DNMT-1, HDAC-6, miR-21, HOTAIR, and H19 with the upregulation of miR-148a/miR-152 indicated that nimbolide regulates AR and IGF-1/PI3K/Akt signaling via epigenetic modifications. Coadministration of nimbolide with metformin and the chemotherapeutic drugs tamoxifen/cisplatin displayed higher efficacy than single agents in inhibiting IGF-1/PI3K/Akt/AR signaling. Grade-wise increases in IGF-1R and AR expression in breast cancer tissues underscore their value as biomarkers of progression.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence for the anticancer effects of nimbolide in cellular and mouse models of breast cancer besides providing leads for new drug combinations. It has also opened up avenues for investigating potential molecules such as AR for therapeutic targeting of cancer.

Keywords: Aldose reductase, angiogenesis, breast cancer, IGF-1, nimbolide, PI3K/Akt.

Graphical Abstract
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