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PloS one

The Flavone Luteolin Suppresses SREBP-2 Expression and Post-Translational Activation in Hepatic Cells.


PMID 26302339

Abstract

High blood cholesterol has been associated with cardiovascular diseases. The enzyme HMG CoA reductase (HMGCR) is responsible for cholesterol synthesis, and inhibitors of this enzyme (statins) have been used clinically to control blood cholesterol. Sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) -2 is a key transcription factor in cholesterol metabolism, and HMGCR is a target gene of SREBP-2. Attenuating SREBP-2 activity could potentially minimize the expression of HMGCR. Luteolin is a flavone that is commonly detected in plant foods. In the present study, Luteolin suppressed the expression of SREBP-2 at concentrations as low as 1 μM in the hepatic cell lines WRL and HepG2. This flavone also prevented the nuclear translocation of SREBP-2. Post-translational processing of SREBP-2 protein was required for nuclear translocation. Luteolin partially blocked this activation route through increased AMP kinase (AMPK) activation. At the transcriptional level, the mRNA and protein expression of SREBP-2 were reduced through luteolin. A reporter gene assay also verified that the transcription of SREBF2 was weakened in response to this flavone. The reduced expression and protein processing of SREBP-2 resulted in decreased nuclear translocation. Thus, the transcription of HMGCR was also decreased after luteolin treatment. In summary, the results of the present study showed that luteolin modulates HMGCR transcription by decreasing the expression and nuclear translocation of SREBP-2.

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