International journal of molecular sciences

Inhibition of Hepatocyte Apoptosis: An Important Mechanism of Corn Peptides Attenuating Liver Injury Induced by Ethanol.

PMID 26378531


In this study, the effects of mixed corn peptides and synthetic pentapeptide (QLLPF) on hepatocyte apoptosis induced by ethanol were investigated in vivo. QLLPF, was previously characterized from corn protein hydrolysis, which had been shown to exert good facilitating alcohol metabolism activity. Mice were pre-treated with the mixed corn peptides and the pentapeptide for 1 week and then treated with ethanol. After treatment of three weeks, the biochemical indices and the key ethanol metabolizing enzymes, the serum TNF-α, liver TGF-β1 concentrations and the protein expressions related to apoptosis were determined. We found that the Bcl-2, Bax and cytochrome c expressions in the intrinsic pathway and the Fas, FasL and NF-κB expressions in the extrinsic pathway together with higher TNF-α and TGF-β1 concentrations were reversed compared with the model group by both the mixed corn peptides and the pentapeptide. The activation of caspase3 was also suppressed. Additionally, apoptosis was further confirmed with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) and the TUNEL assay demonstrated peptides suppressed hepatocyte apoptosis. Our results suggest that apoptosis induced by ethanol is alleviated in response to the treatment of corn peptides, potentially due to reversing the related protein expression.