Molecules. 2014 Sep 29 ;19(10):15638-52. Epub 2014 Sep 29. PMID: 25268719
eckol enhances heme oxygenase-1 expression through activation of Nrf2/JNK pathway in HepG2 cells.
Eckol isolated from Ecklonia stolonifera was previously reported to exhibit cytoprotective activity with its intrinsic antioxidant activity in in vitro studies. In this study, we characterized the mechanism underlying the eckol-mediated the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Eckol suppressed the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species and increased glutathione level in HepG2 cells. Eckol treatment enhanced the expression of HO-1 at the both level of protein and mRNA in HepG2 cells. Enhanced expression of HO-1 by eckol was presumed to be the activation of the nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) demonstrated by its nuclear translocation and increased transcriptional activity. c-Jun NH2-terminal kinases (JNKs) and PI3K/Akt contributed to Nrf2-mediated HO-1 expression. These results demonstrate that the eckol-mediated expression of HO-1 in HepG2 cells is regulated by Nrf2 activation via JNK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways, suggesting that eckol may be used as a natural antioxidant and cytoprotective agent.