Displaying all 12 publications

  1. Phang CW, Karsani SA, Sethi G, Abd Malek SN
    PLoS One, 2016;11(2):e0148775.
    PMID: 26859847 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148775
    Flavokawain C (FKC) is a naturally occurring chalcone which can be found in Kava (Piper methysticum Forst) root. The present study evaluated the effect of FKC on the growth of various human cancer cell lines and the underlying associated mechanisms. FKC showed higher cytotoxic activity against HCT 116 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner in comparison to other cell lines (MCF-7, HT-29, A549 and CaSki), with minimal toxicity on normal human colon cells. The apoptosis-inducing capability of FKC on HCT 116 cells was evidenced by cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation and increased phosphatidylserine externalization. FKC was found to disrupt mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in the release of Smac/DIABLO, AIF and cytochrome c into the cytoplasm. Our results also revealed that FKC induced intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis via upregulation of the levels of pro-apoptotic proteins (Bak) and death receptors (DR5), while downregulation of the levels of anti-apoptotic proteins (XIAP, cIAP-1, c-FlipL, Bcl-xL and survivin), resulting in the activation of caspase-3, -8 and -9 and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). FKC was also found to cause endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as suggested by the elevation of GADD153 protein after FKC treatment. After the cells were exposed to FKC (60μM) over 18hrs, there was a substantial increase in the phosphorylation of ERK 1/2. The expression of phosphorylated Akt was also reduced. FKC also caused cell cycle arrest in the S phase in HCT 116 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and with accumulation of cells in the sub-G1 phase. This was accompanied by the downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK2 and CDK4), consistent with the upregulation of CDK inhibitors (p21Cip1 and p27Kip1), and hypophosphorylation of Rb.
  2. Perumal Samy R, Stiles BG, Sethi G, Lim LHK
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 2017 May;11(5):e0004738.
    PMID: 28493905 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004738
    This review briefly summarizes the geographical distribution and clinical impact of melioidosis, especially in the tropics. Burkholderia pseudomallei (a gram-negative bacterium) is the major causative agent for melioidosis, which is prevalent in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Northern Australia. Melioidosis patients are increasingly being recognized in other parts of the world. The bacteria are intrinsically resistant to many antimicrobial agents, but prolonged treatment, especially with combinations of antibiotics, may be effective. Despite therapy, the overall case fatality rate of septicemia in melioidosis remains significantly high. Intracellular survival of the bacteria within macrophages may progress to chronic infections, and about 10% of patients suffer relapses. In the coming decades, melioidosis will increasingly afflict travelers throughout many global regions. Clinicians managing travelers returning from the subtropics or tropics with severe pneumonia or septicemia should consider acute melioidosis as a differential diagnosis. Patients with open skin wounds, diabetes, or chronic renal disease are at higher risk for melioidosis and should avoid direct contact with soil and standing water in endemic regions. Furthermore, there are fears that B. pseudomallei may be used as a biological weapon. Technological advancements in molecular diagnostics and antibiotic therapy are improving the disease outcomes in endemic areas throughout Asia. Research and development efforts on vaccine candidates against melioidosis are ongoing.
  3. Richardson JS, Sethi G, Lee GS, Malek SN
    BMC Complement Altern Med, 2016 Oct 12;16(1):389.
    PMID: 27729078
    Cancer has been one of the leading causes of mortality in this era. Ruta angustifolia L. Pers has been traditionally used as an abortifacient, antihelmintic, emmenagogue and ophthalmic. In Malaysia and Singapore, the local Chinese community used it for the treatment of cancer.
  4. Aamir K, Khan HU, Sethi G, Hossain MA, Arya A
    Pharmacol Res, 2020 02;152:104602.
    PMID: 31846761 DOI: 10.1016/j.phrs.2019.104602
    Diabesity is the combination of type 2 diabetes and obesity characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation. The Wnt signaling act as an evolutionary pathway playing crucial role in regulating cellular homeostasis and energy balance from hypothalamus to metabolic organs. Aberrant activity of certain appendages in the canonical and non-canonical Wnt system deregulates metabolism and leads to adipose tissue expansion, this key event initiates metabolic stress causing metaflammation and obesity. Metaflammation induced obesity initiates abnormal development of adipocytes mediating through the non-canonical Wnt signaling inhibition of canonical Wnt pathway to fan the flames of adipogenesis. Moreover, activation of toll like receptor (TLR)-4 signaling in metabolic stress invites immune cells to release pro-inflammatory cytokines for recruitment of macrophages in adipose tissues, further causes polarization of macrophages into M1(classically activated) and M2 (alternatively activated) subtypes. These events end with chronic low-grade inflammation which interferes with insulin signaling in metabolic tissues to develop type 2 diabetes. However, there is a dearth in understanding the exact mechanism of Wnt-TLR axis during diabesity. This review dissects the molecular facets of Wnt and TLRs that modulates cellular components during diabesity and provides current progress, challenges and alternative therapeutic strategies at preclinical and clinical level.
  5. Hasanpourghadi M, Looi CY, Pandurangan AK, Sethi G, Wong WF, Mustafa MR
    Curr Drug Targets, 2017;18(9):1086-1094.
    PMID: 27033190 DOI: 10.2174/1389450117666160401124842
    Phytometabolites are functional elements derived from plants and most of them exhibit therapeutic characteristics such as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Phytometabolites exert their anti-cancer effect by targeting multiple signaling pathways. One of the remarkable phenomena targeted by phytometabolites is the Warburg effect. The Warburg effect describes the observation that cancer cells exhibit an increased rate of glycolysis and aberrant redox activity compared to normal cells. This phenomenon promotes further cancer development and progression. Recent observations revealed that some phytometabolites could target metabolic-related enzymes (e.g. Hexokinase, Pyruvate kinase M2, HIF-1) in cancer cells, with little or no harm to normal cells. Since hyper-proliferation of cancer cells is fueled by higher cellular metabolism, phytometabolites targeting these metabolic pathways can create synergistic crosstalk with induced apoptotic pathways and sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents. In this review, we discuss phytometabolites that target the Warburg effect and the underlying molecular mechanism that leads to tumor growth suppression.
  6. Loh CY, Arya A, Naema AF, Wong WF, Sethi G, Looi CY
    Front Oncol, 2019;9:48.
    PMID: 30847297 DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2019.00048
    Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) pathway is connected upstream with Janus kinases (JAK) family protein and capable of integrating inputs from different signaling pathways. Each family member plays unique functions in signal transduction and crucial in mediating cellular responses to different kind of cytokines. STAT family members notably STAT3 and STAT5 have been involved in cancer progression whereas STAT1 plays opposite role by suppressing tumor growth. Persistent STAT3/5 activation is known to promote chronic inflammation, which increases susceptibility of healthy cells to carcinogenesis. Here, we review the role of STATs in cancers and inflammation while discussing current therapeutic implications in different cancers and test models, especially the delivery of STAT3/5 targeting siRNA using nanoparticulate delivery system.
  7. Khan HU, Aamir K, Jusuf PR, Sethi G, Sisinthy SP, Ghildyal R, et al.
    Life Sci, 2021 Jan 15;265:118750.
    PMID: 33188836 DOI: 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.118750
    BACKGROUND: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is an endotoxin that leads to inflammation in many organs, including liver. It binds to pattern recognition receptors, that generally recognise pathogen expressed molecules to transduce signals that result in a multifaceted network of intracellular responses ending up in inflammation. Aim In this study, we used lauric acid (LA), a constituent abundantly found in coconut oil to determine its anti-inflammatory role in LPS-induced liver inflammation in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats.

    METHOD: Male SD rats were divided into five groups (n = 8), injected with LPS and thereafter treated with LA (50 and 100 mg/kg) or vehicle orally for 14 days. After fourteen days of LA treatment, all the groups were humanely killed to investigate biochemical parameters followed by pro-inflammatory cytokine markers; tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and IL-1β. Moreover, liver tissues were harvested for histopathological studies and evaluation of targeted protein expression with western blot and localisation through immunohistochemistry (IHC).

    RESULTS: The study results showed that treatment of LA 50 and 100 mg/kg for 14 days were able to reduce the elevated level of pro-inflammatory cytokines, liver inflammation, and downregulated the expression of TLR4/NF-κB mediating proteins in liver tissues.

    CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that treatment of LA has a protective role against LPS-induced liver inflammation in rats, thus, warrants further in-depth investigation through mechanistic approaches in different study models.

  8. Sharma A, Sethi G, Tambuwala MM, Aljabali AAA, Chellappan DK, Dua K, et al.
    Curr Neuropharmacol, 2021;19(2):248-264.
    PMID: 32348224 DOI: 10.2174/1570159X18666200429013041
    All mammalian cells exhibit circadian rhythm in cellular metabolism and energetics. Autonomous cellular clocks are modulated by various pathways that are essential for robust time keeping. In addition to the canonical transcriptional translational feedback loop, several new pathways of circadian timekeeping - non-transcriptional oscillations, post-translational modifications, epigenetics and cellular signaling in the circadian clock - have been identified. The physiology of circadian rhythm is expansive, and its link to the neurodegeneration is multifactorial. Circadian rhythm disruption is prevelant in contamporary society where light-noise, shift-work, and transmeridian travel are commonplace, and is also reported from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Circadian alignment by bright light therapy in conjunction with chronobiotics is beneficial for treating sundowning syndrome and other cognitive symptoms in advanced AD patients. We performed a comprehensive analysis of the clinical and translational reports to review the physiology of the circadian clock, delineate its dysfunction in AD, and unravel the dynamics of the vicious cycle between two pathologies. The review delineates the role of putative targets like clock proteins PER, CLOCK, BMAL1, ROR, and clock-controlled proteins like AVP, SIRT1, FOXO, and PK2 towards future approaches for management of AD. Furthermore, the role of circadian rhythm disruption in aging is delineated.
  9. Swamy SG, Kameshwar VH, Shubha PB, Looi CY, Shanmugam MK, Arfuso F, et al.
    Target Oncol, 2017 02;12(1):1-10.
    PMID: 27510230 DOI: 10.1007/s11523-016-0452-7
    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common forms of liver cancer diagnosed worldwide. HCC occurs due to chronic liver disease and is often diagnosed at advanced stages. Chemotherapeutic agents such as doxorubicin are currently used as first-line agents for HCC therapy, but these are non-selective cytotoxic molecules with significant side effects. Sorafenib, a multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is the only approved targeted drug for HCC patients. However, due to adverse side effects and limited efficacy, there is a need for the identification of novel pharmacological drugs beyond sorafenib. Several agents that target and inhibit various signaling pathways involved in HCC are currently being assessed for HCC treatment. In the present review article, we summarize the diverse signal transduction pathways responsible for initiation as well as progression of HCC and also the potential anticancer effects of selected targeted therapies that can be employed for HCC therapy.
  10. Loh CY, Chai JY, Tang TF, Wong WF, Sethi G, Shanmugam MK, et al.
    Cells, 2019 Sep 20;8(10).
    PMID: 31547193 DOI: 10.3390/cells8101118
    Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) has been shown to be crucial in tumorigenesis where the EMT program enhances metastasis, chemoresistance and tumor stemness. Due to its emerging role as a pivotal driver of tumorigenesis, targeting EMT is of great therapeutic interest in counteracting metastasis and chemoresistance in cancer patients. The hallmark of EMT is the upregulation of N-cadherin followed by the downregulation of E-cadherin, and this process is regulated by a complex network of signaling pathways and transcription factors. In this review, we summarized the recent understanding of the roles of E- and N-cadherins in cancer invasion and metastasis as well as the crosstalk with other signaling pathways involved in EMT. We also highlighted a few natural compounds with potential anti-EMT property and outlined the future directions in the development of novel intervention in human cancer treatments. We have reviewed 287 published papers related to this topic and identified some of the challenges faced in translating the discovery work from bench to bedside.
  11. Shanmugam MK, Lee JH, Chai EZ, Kanchi MM, Kar S, Arfuso F, et al.
    Semin Cancer Biol, 2016 10;40-41:35-47.
    PMID: 27038646 DOI: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2016.03.005
    The association between chronic inflammation and cancer development has been well documented. One of the major obstacles in cancer treatment is the persistent autocrine and paracrine activation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors such as nuclear factor-κB, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, activator protein 1, fork head box protein M1, and hypoxia-inducible factor 1α in a wide variety of tumor cell lines and patient specimens. This, in turn, leads to an accelerated production of cellular adhesion molecules, inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, anti-apoptotic molecules, and inducible nitric oxide synthase. Numerous medicinal plant-derived compounds have made a tremendous impact in drug discovery research endeavors, and have been reported to modulate the activation of diverse oncogenic transcription factors in various tumor models. Moreover, novel therapeutic combinations of standard chemotherapeutic drugs with these agents have significantly improved patient survival by making cancer cells more susceptible to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In this review, we critically analyze the existing literature on the modulation of diverse transcription factors by various natural compounds and provide views on new directions for accelerating the discovery of novel drug candidates derived from Mother Nature.
  12. Dai X, Wang L, Deivasigamni A, Looi CY, Karthikeyan C, Trivedi P, et al.
    Oncotarget, 2017 Feb 21;8(8):12831-12842.
    PMID: 28086233 DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.14606
    A prior screening programme carried out using MTT assay by our group identified a series of novel benzimidazole derivatives, among which Methyl 2-(5-fluoro-2-hydroxyphenyl)-1H- benzo[d]imidazole-5-carboxylate (MBIC) showed highest anticancer efficacy compared to that of chemotherapeutic agent, cisplatin. In the present study, we found that MBIC inhibited cell viability in different hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines without exerting significant cytotoxic effects on normal liver cells. Annexin V-FITC/PI flow cytometry analysis and Western blotting results indicated that MBIC can induce apoptosis in HCC cells, which was found to be mediated through mitochondria associated proteins ultimately leading to the activation of caspase-3. The exposure to MBIC also resulted in remarkable impairment of HCC cell migration and invasion. In addition, treatment with MBIC led to a rapid generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and substantial activation of c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK). The depletion of ROS by N-Acetyl cysteine (NAC) partially blocked MBIC-induced apoptosis and JNK activation in HCC cells. Finally, MBIC significantly inhibited tumor growth at a dose of 25 mg/kg in an orthotopic HCC mouse model. Taken together, these results demonstrate that MBIC may inhibit cell proliferation via ROS-mediated activation of the JNK signaling cascade in HCC cells.
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