Benzylglucosinolate Derived Isothiocyanate from Tropaeolum majus Reduces Gluconeogenic Gene and Protein Expression in Human Cells
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus L.) contains high concentrations of benzylglcosinolate.We found that a hydrolysis product of benzyl glucosinolate—the benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC)— modulates the intracellular localization of the transcription factor Forkhead box O 1 (FOXO1). FoxO transcription factors can antagonize insulin effects and trigger a variety of cellular processes involved in tumor suppression, longevity, development and metabolism. The current study evaluated the ability of BITC—extracted as intact glucosinolate from nasturtiumand hydrolyzed withmyrosinase—to modulate i) the insulin-signaling pathway, ii) the intracellular localization of FOXO1 and, iii) the expression of proteins involved in gluconeogenesis, antioxidant response and detoxification. Stably transfected human osteosarcoma cells (U-2 OS) with constitutive expression of FOXO1 protein labeled with GFP (green fluorescent protein) were used to evaluate the effect of BITC on FOXO1. Human hepatoma HepG2 cell cultures were selected to evaluate the effect on gluconeogenic, antioxidant and detoxification genes and protein expression. BITC reduced the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT/PKB) and FOXO1; promotedFOXO1 translocation from cytoplasm into the nucleus antagonizing the insulin effect; was able to down-regulate the gene and protein expression of gluconeogenic enzymes; and induced the gene expression of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes. Knockdown analyses with specific siRNAs showed that the expression of gluconeogenic genes was dependent on nuclear factor (erythroid derived)-like2 (NRF2) and independent of FOXO1, AKT and NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1 (SIRT1). The current study provides evidence that BITC might have a role in type 2 diabetes T2D by reducing hepatic glucose production and increasing antioxidant resistance.