Archives of biochemistry and biophysics

l-Cysteine supplementation increases insulin sensitivity mediated by upregulation of GSH and adiponectin in high glucose treated 3T3-L1 adipocytes.

PMID 28755973


Diabetic patients have lower blood levels of l-cysteine (LC) and glutathione (GSH). This study examined the hypothesis that LC supplementation positively up regulates the effects of insulin on GSH and glucose metabolism in 3T3-L1 adipocyte model. 3T3L1 adipocytes were treated with LC (250 μM, 2 h) and/or insulin (15 or 30 nM, 2 h), and high glucose (HG, 25 mM, 20 h). Results showed that HG caused significant increase (95%) in ROS and reduction in the protein levels of DsbA-L (43%), adiponectin (64%), GCLC (20%), GCLM (21%), GSH (50%), and GLUT-4 (23%) in adipocytes. Furthermore, HG caused a reduction in total (35%) and HMW adiponectin (30%) secretion. Treatment with insulin alone significantly (p < 0.05) reduced ROS levels as well as increased DsbA-L, adiponectin, GCLC, GCLM, GSH, and GLUT-4 protein levels, glucose utilization, and improved total and HMW adiponectin secretion in HG treated adipocytes compared to HG alone. Interestingly, LC supplementation along with insulin caused greater reduction in ROS levels and significantly (p < 0.05) boosted the DsbA-L (41% vs LC, 29% vs Insulin), adiponectin (92% Vs LC, 84% Vs insulin) protein levels and total (32% Vs LC, 22% Vs insulin) and HMW adiponectin (75% Vs LC, 39% Vs insulin) secretion compared with the either insulin or LC alone in HG-treated cells. In addition, LC supplementation along with insulin increased GCLC (21% Vs LC, 14% insulin), GCLM (28% Vs LC, 16% insulin) and GSH (25% Vs LC and insulin) levels compared with the either insulin or LC alone in HG-treated cells. Furthermore, LC and insulin increases GLUT-4 protein expression (65% Vs LC, 18% Vs Insulin), glucose utilization (57% Vs LC, 27% Vs insulin) compared with the either insulin or LC alone in HG-treated cells. Similarly, LC supplementation increased insulin action significantly in cells maintained in medium contained control glucose. To explore the beneficial effect of LC is mediated by the upregulation of GCLC, we knocked down GCLC using siRNA in adipoctyes. There was a significant decrease in DsbA-L and GLUT-4 mRNA levels and GSH levels in GCLC knockdown adipocytes and LC supplementation up regulates GCLC, DsbA-L and GLUT-4 mRNA expression and GSH levels in GCLC knockdown cells. These results demonstrated that LC along with insulin increases GSH levels thereby improving adiponectin secretion and glucose utilization in adipocytes. This suggests that LC supplementation can increase insulin sensitivity and can be used as an adjuvant therapy for diabetes.

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EHU048791 MISSION® esiRNA, esiRNA human GCLC (esiRNA1)