Delay of diabetic cataract in rats by the antiglycating potential of cumin through modulation of alpha-crystallin chaperone activity.
J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Sep 10. PMID: 18789666
alpha-Crystallin, a molecular chaperone of the eye lens, plays an important role in maintaining the transparency of the lens by preventing the aggregation/inactivation of several proteins and enzymes in addition to its structural role. alpha-Crystallin is a long-lived protein and is susceptible to several posttranslational modifications during aging, more so in certain clinical conditions such as diabetes. Nonenzymatic glycation of lens proteins and decline in the chaperone-like function of alpha-crystallin have been reported in diabetic conditions. Therefore, inhibitors of nonenzymatic protein glycation appear to be a potential target to preserve the chaperone activity of alpha-crystallin and to combat cataract under hyperglycemic conditions. In this study, we investigated the antiglycating potential of cumin in vitro and its ability to modulate the chaperone-like activity of alpha-crystallin vis-à-vis the progression of diabetic cataract in vivo. Aqueous extract of cumin was tested for its antiglycating ability against fructose-induced glycation of goat lens total soluble protein (TSP), alpha-crystallin from goat lens and a nonlenticular protein bovine serum albumin (BSA). The antiglycating potential of cumin was also investigated by feeding streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats with diet containing 0.5% cumin powder. The aqueous extract of cumin prevented in vitro glycation of TSP, alpha-crystallin and BSA. Slit lamp examination revealed that supplementation of cumin delayed progression and maturation of STZ-induced cataract in rats. Cumin was effective in preventing glycation of TSP and alpha-crystallin in diabetic lens. Interestingly, feeding of cumin to diabetic rats not only prevented loss of chaperone activity but also attenuated the structural changes of alpha-crystallin in lens. These results indicated that cumin has antiglycating properties that may be attributed to the modulation of chaperone activity of alpha-crystallin, thus delaying cataract in STZ-induced diabetic rats.