Isoflavone-poor soy protein alters the lipid metabolism of rats by SREBP-mediated down-regulation of hepatic genes

Anjali Shukla, Corinna Brandsch, Anja Bettzieche, Frank Hirche, Gabriele I Stangl, Klaus Eder
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2007, 18 (5): 313-21
Soy intake acts hypolipidemically. Besides isoflavones, soy protein itself is suggested to influence plasma lipid concentrations. We investigated the effects of an alcohol-washed isoflavone-poor soy protein isolate on plasma and liver lipids and the hepatic expression of genes encoding proteins involved in cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism. Therefore, rats were fed diets containing 200 g/kg of either ethanol-extracted soy protein isolate or casein over 22 days. Rats fed soy protein isolate had markedly lower concentrations of liver cholesterol and lower concentrations of triglycerides in the liver and in plasma than rats fed casein (P<.05). Rats fed soy protein isolate had lower relative mRNA concentrations of sterol-regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-2, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, low-density lipoprotein receptor, cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase, apolipoprotein B, Delta9-desaturase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in the liver than rats fed casein (P<.05). Hepatic mRNA concentration of SREBP-1c tended to be lower in rats fed soy protein isolate (P<.10). Hepatic mRNA concentrations of insulin-induced gene (Insig) 1 and Insig-2 and of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein, as well as plasma concentrations of free fatty acids, insulin and glucagon, were not different between the two groups. In conclusion, this study suggests that isoflavone-poor soy protein isolate affects cellular lipid homeostasis by the down-regulation of SREBPs and its target genes in the liver, which are involved in the synthesis of cholesterol and triglycerides.

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