Novel protective mechanism of reducing renal cell damage in diabetes: Activation AMPK by AICAR increased NRF2/OGG1 proteins and reduced oxidative DNA damage

Samy L. Habib, Anamika Yadav, Dawit Kidane, Robert H Weiss, Sitai Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Exposure of renal cells to high glucose (HG) during diabetes has been recently proposed to be involved in renal injury. In the present study, we investigated a potential mechanism by which AICAR treatment regulates the DNA repair enzyme, 8-oxoG-DNA glycosylase (OGG1) in renal proximal tubular mouse cells exposed to HG and in kidney of db/db mice. Cells treated with HG for 2 days show inhibition in OGG1 promoter activity as well as OGG1 and Nrf2 protein expression. In addition, activation of AMPK by AICAR resulted in an increase raptor phosphorylation at Ser792 and leads to increase the promoter activity of OGG1 through upregulation of Nrf2. Downregulation of AMPK by DN-AMPK and raptor and Nrf2 by siRNA resulted in significant decease in promoter activity and protein expression of OGG1. On the other hand, downregulation of Akt by DN-Akt and rictor by siRNA resulted in significant increase in promoter activity and protein expression of Nrf2 and OGG1. Moreover, gel shift analysis shows reduction of Nrf2 binding to OGG1 promoter in cells treated with HG while cells treated with AICAR reversed the effect of HG. Furthermore, db/db mice treated with AICAR show significant increased in AMPK and raptor phosphroylation as well as OGG1 and Nrf2 protein expression that associated with significant decrease in oxidative DNA damage (8-oxodG) compared to non-treated mice. In summary, our data provide a novel protective mechanism by which AICAR prevents renal cell damage in diabetes and the consequence complications of hyperglycemia with a specific focus on nephropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3048-3059
Number of pages12
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 16 2016



  • AMPK
  • diabetes
  • mTOR
  • Nrf2
  • OGG1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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