Curcumin Up-Regulates LDL Receptor Expression via the Sterol Regulatory Element Pathway in HepG2 Cells

Life Science College of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, P. R. China.
Planta Medica (Impact Factor: 2.34). 09/2008; 74(11):1374-9. DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1081316
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Plasma low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) is mainly taken up and cleared by the hepatocellular LDL receptor (LDL-R). LDL-R gene expression is regulated by the sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs). Previous studies have shown that curcumin reduces plasma LDL-C and has hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerotic effects. Herein, we investigated the effect of curcumin on LDL-R expression and its molecular mechanism in HepG2 cells. Curcumin increased LDL-R expression (mRNA and protein) and the resultant uptake of DiI-LDL in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Using a GFP reporter system in a transfected HepG2/SRE-GFP cell line, we found that curcumin activated the sterol regulatory element of the LDL-R promoter. In HepG2/Insig2 cells, curcumin reversed the inhibition of LDL-R expression induced by Insig2 overexpression. These data demonstrate that curcumin increases LDL-R protein expression and uptake activity via the SREBPs pathway. These findings contribute to our further understanding of the cholesterol-lowering and anti-atherosclerotic effects of curcumin.

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