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

ArticleinPlanta Medica 74(11):1374-9 · September 2008with16 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.15 · DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1081316 · Source: PubMed


    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.