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Glabridin inhibits dexamethasone-induced muscle atrophy

Yoshioka, Yasukiyo, Kubota, Yusuke, Samukawa, Yumi, Yamashita, Yoko, Ashida, Hitoshi
Archives of biochemistry and biophysics 2019 v.664 pp. 157-166
dexamethasone, glucocorticoid receptors, ingredients, isoflavones, licorice, mice, muscles, muscular atrophy, myotubes, oils, oral administration, phosphorylation, protein degradation, quality of life, skeletal muscle, ubiquitin-protein ligase
Prevention of muscle wasting is known to contribute to improving the quality of life and extending a healthy life. Recently, we have reported that licorice flavonoid oil containing glabridin, which is a prenylated isoflavone, enhances muscle mass in mice. In this study, we investigated the prevention effect of glabridin on dexamethasone-induced muscle atrophy and clarified its mechanism in cultured myotubes and in muscle of mice. Treatment with glabridin to C2C12 myotubes inhibited dexamethasone-induced protein degradation through dexamethasone-induced expression of ubiquitin ligases, MuRF1 and Cbl-b, but not atrogin-1. Mechanistically, glabridin inhibited nuclear translocation of the glucocorticoid receptor. Glabridin directly bound to the glucocorticoid receptor, resulting in the inhibition of binding between dexamethasone and the receptor protein. Glabridin also inhibited dexamethasone-induced phosphorylation of p38 and FoxO3a, as the upstream for the induction of ubiquitin ligases in C2C12 myotubes. Moreover, the glabridin-induced inhibition of protein degradation was eliminated by knockdown of the glucocorticoid receptor, but not by p38 knockdown. These data indicated that the inhibitory mechanism of glabridin against dexamethasone-induced muscle atrophy was mainly mediated by the inhibition of binding between dexamethasone and the glucocorticoid receptor in myotubes. Oral administration of glabridin prevented dexamethasone-induced protein degradation in the tibialis anterior muscle of mice. It was confirmed that glabridin inhibited dexamethasone-induced nuclear translocation of the glucocorticoid receptor and phosphorylation of FoxO3a in the muscle of mice. These findings suggest that glabridin is an effective food ingredient for the prevention of glucocorticoid-induced skeletal muscle atrophy.