Abstract Title:

Dibenzoylmethane Protects Against CCl4-Induced Acute Liver Injury by Activating Nrf2 via JNK, AMPK, and Calcium Signaling.

Abstract Source:

AAPS J. 2017 Nov ;19(6):1703-1714. Epub 2017 Aug 21. PMID: 28828752

Abstract Author(s):

Mingnan Cao, Huixia Wang, Limei Guo, Simin Yang, Chun Liu, Tin Oo Khor, Siwang Yu, Ah-Ng Kong

Article Affiliation:

Mingnan Cao


Oxidative stress is an important pathogenic factor in various hepatic diseases. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2), which coordinates the expression of an array of antioxidant and detoxifying genes, has been proposed as a potential target for prevention and treatment of liver disease. Dibenzoylmethane (DBM) is a minor ingredient in licorice that activates Nrf2 and prevents various cancers and oxidative damage. In the present study, the mechanisms by which DBM activates Nrf2 signaling were delineated, and its protective effect against carbon tetrachloride (CCl)-induced liver injury was examined. DBM potently induced the expression of HO-1 in cells and in the livers of mice, but this induction was diminished in Nrf2-deficient mice and cells. Overexpression of Nrf2 enhanced DBM-induced HO-1 expression, while overexpression of a dominant-negative fragment of Nrf2 inhibited this induction. DBM treatment resulted in dissociation from Keap1 and nuclear translocation of Nrf2. Moreover, DBM activated Akt/protein kinase B, mitogen-activated protein kinases, and AMP-activated protein kinase and increased intracellular calcium levels. Inhibition of JNK, AMPK, or intracellular calcium signaling significantly suppressed the induction of HO-1 expression by DBM. Finally, DBM treatment significantly inhibited CCl-induced acute liver injury in wild-type but not in Nrf2-deficient mice. Taken together, our results revealed the mechanisms by which DBM activates Nrf2 and induces HO-1 expression, and provide molecular basis for the design and development of DBM and its derivatives for prevention or treatment of liver diseases by targeting Nrf2.

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