JOURNAL ARTICLE

Phenylpropanoid glycosides from plant cell cultures induce heme oxygenase 1 gene expression in a human keratinocyte cell line by affecting the balance of NRF2 and BACH1 transcription factors

Anna Sgarbossa, Martina Dal Bosco, Giovanna Pressi, Salvatore Cuzzocrea, Roberto Dal Toso, Marta Menegazzi
Chemico-biological Interactions 2012 August 30, 199 (2): 87-95
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Phenylpropanoids have several highly significant biological properties in both plants and animals. Four phenylpropanoid glycosides (PPGs), verbascoside (VB), forsythoside B (FB), echinacoside (EC) and campneoside I (CP), were purified and tested for their capability to activate NRF2 and induce phase II cytoprotective enzymes in a human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT). All four substances showed similar strong antioxidant and radical-scavenging activities as determined by diphenylpicrylhydrazyl assay. Furthermore, in HaCaT cells, FB and EC are strong activators of NRF2, the nuclear transcription factor regulating many phase II detoxifying and cytoprotective enzymes, such as heme oxygenase 1 (HMOX1). In HaCaT cells, FB and EC (200 μM) induced nuclear translocation of NRF2 protein after 24 h and reduced nuclear protein levels of BACH1, a repressor of the antioxidant response element. FB and EC greatly HMOX1 mRNA levels by more than 40-fold in 72 h. Cytoplasmic HMOX1 protein levels were also increased at 48 h after treatment. VB was less active compared to FB and EC, and CP was slightly active only at later times of treatment. We suggest that hydroxytyrosol (HYD) could be a potential bioactive metabolite of PPGs since HYD, in equimolar amounts to PGGs, is able to both activate HO-1 transcription and modify Nrf2/Bach1 nuclear protein levels. This is in agreement with the poor activity of CP, which contains a HYD moiety modified by an O-methyl group. In conclusion, FB and EC from plant cell cultures may provide long-lasting skin protection by induction of phase II cytoprotective capabilities.

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