- PHARMACEUTICAL SOC JAPAN
Glutathione (GSH) is an ubiquitous thiol-containing tripeptide, which plays important roles in cellular protection from oxidative stress. In our search for a dietary source that can increase GSH levels, we discovered that a 24 h treatment of HepG2 cells with rice bran protein hydrolysate (RBPH), prepared by Umamizyme G-catalyzed hydrolysis, increased the GSH content in a dose-dependent manner. RBPH elevated the expression levels of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS), which constitutes the rate-limiting enzyme of GSH synthesis, and of another two enzymes, hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (phosphate): quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). This induction was preceded by the accumulation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) inside the nucleus, which is a key transcription factor for the expression of the γ-GCS, HO-1, and NQO1. Pre-treatment of cells with RBPH produced a significant protective effect against cytotoxicity caused by H2O2 or ethanol. These results indicate that RBPH exerts a protective effect against oxidative stress by modulating GSH levels and anti-oxidative enzyme expression via the Nrf2 pathway.
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