Main content area

Glycyrrhetinic Acid Improves Insulin-Response Pathway by Regulating the Balance between the Ras/MAPK and PI3K/Akt Pathways

Zhang, Yuan, Yang, Shengnan, Zhang, Man, Wang, Zhihua, He, Xin, Hou, Yuanyuan, Bai, Gang
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.3
IKappaB kinase, bioactive compounds, enzyme activity, free fatty acids, glucose, glucose transporters, glycyrrhetinic acid, human cell lines, human nutrition, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, image analysis, insulin, insulin resistance, intracellular enzymes, metabolic syndrome, mitogen-activated protein kinase, models, obesity, phosphorylation, protein kinase C, proteomics, rats, signal transduction
Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), a bioactive component in the human diet, has been reported to improve hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and obesity in rats with metabolic syndrome. However, GA-specific target proteins and the mechanisms involved in the downstream signaling and cross-talk to improve insulin sensitivity have not been fully elucidated. In this study, the potential targets of GA were identified by chemical proteomics strategies using serial GA probes for target fishing and cell molecular imaging. Intracellular enzyme activity evaluation and insulin resistance models were used for validating the function of the target proteins on the downstream insulin signaling pathways. Collectively, our data demonstrate that GA improved the insulin-responsive pathway and glucose consumption levels via multiple diabetogenic factors that activated the insulin signaling pathway in HepG2 cells. GA improved Glucose transporter 4(GLUT4) expression by targeting the Ras protein to regulate the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. GA exhibited a strong inhibitory effect on IRS1ser307 phosphorylation in cells treated with the Protein kinase C (PKC) activator Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA.) Consistently, IRS1ser307 phosphorylation was also inhibited by GA in Free fatty acid (FFA)-treated HepG2 cells. GA also inhibited the PMA-induced phosphorylation of IκB kinase α/β (IKKα/β), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 proteins (P38), suggesting that IKKα/β, JNK and P38 activation is dependent on PKC activity.