Probucol ameliorates renal injury in diabetic nephropathy by inhibiting the expression of the redox enzyme p66Shc

Shikun Yang, Li Zhao, Yachun Han, Yu Liu, Chao Chen, Ming Zhan, Xiaofen Xiong, Xuejing Zhu, Li Xiao, Chun Hu, Fuyou Liu, Zhiguang Zhou, Yashpal S. Kanwar, Lin Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Aims Probucol is an anti-hyperlipidemic agent and a potent antioxidant drug that can delay progression of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and reverses renal oxidative stress in diabetic animal models; however, the mechanisms underlying these effects remain unclear. p66Shc is a newly recognized mediator of mitochondrial ROS production in renal cells under high-glucose (HG) ambience. We previously showed that p66Shc can serve as a biomarker for renal oxidative injury in DN patients and that p66Shc up-regulation is correlated with renal damage in vivo and in vitro. Here, we determined whether probucol ameliorates renal injury in DN by inhibiting p66Shc expression. Results We found that the expression of SIRT1, Ac-H3 and p66Shc in kidneys of DN patients was altered. Also, probucol reduced the levels of serum creatinine, urine protein and LDL-c and attenuated renal oxidative injury and fibrosis in STZ induced diabetic mice. In addition, probucol reversed p-AMPK, SIRT1, Ac-H3 and p66Shc expression. Correlation analyses showed that p66Shc expression was correlated with p-AMPK and Sirt1 expression and severity of renal injury. In vitro pretreatment of HK-2 cells with p-AMPK and SIRT1 siRNA negated the beneficial effects of probucol. Furthermore, we noted that probucol activates p-AMPK and Sirt1 and inhibits p66shc mRNA transcription by facilitating the binding of Sirt1 to the p66Shc promoter and modulation of Ac-H3 expression in HK-2 cells under HG ambience. Innovation and conclusion Our results suggest for the first time that probucol ameliorates renal damage in DN by epigenetically suppressing p66Shc expression via the AMPK-SIRT1-AcH3 pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-497
Number of pages16
JournalRedox Biology
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Probucol
  • Renal injury
  • p66Shc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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