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Life Sci. 2003 Oct 31;73(24):3109-21.

Transcriptional regulation of fosl-1 by licorice in rat Clone 9 cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Mong Man Wai Building Shatin, Hong Kong, China.


Licorice is a commonly used herbal medicine for treatment of liver disorders. Its biological activities have been widely studied. However, little information on its transcriptional regulation has been reported. In the present study, the effect of an aqueous extract of licorice on the gene expression in rat liver cells (Clone 9) was investigated. The results show the expression of GST-pi, DT-diaphorase, PAI-1, fosl-1 and uPAR were over two-fold increased. Northern blot analysis revealed that the over-expression of these genes was concentration-dependent (0.25-3 mg/ml) but the temporal expression profile (8-48 h) of each individual gene varied. The over-expression of fosl-1 could be related to the event in the induction process leading to the expression of GST-pi, DT-diaphorase, uPAR and PAI-1 through AP-1. Induction of the over-expression of GST-pi and DT-diaphorase genes may contribute to the hepatoprotective properties of licorice whereas activation of uPAR and PAI-1 together with down-regulation of TIMP-3 suggest a role of LE in the regulation of cell mobility.

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