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J Agric Food Chem. 2013 May 29;61(21):5139-47. doi: 10.1021/jf401154c. Epub 2013 May 16.

Avicularin, a plant flavonoid, suppresses lipid accumulation through repression of C/EBPα-activated GLUT4-mediated glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 cells.

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Laboratory of Biodefense and Regulation, Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 4-20-1 Nasahara, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1094, Japan.


Avicularin (quercetin-3-O-α-L-arabinofuranoside) is a plant flavonoid and a quercetin glycoside. In this study, we found that avicularin suppressed the accumulation of intracellular lipids through repression of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4)-mediated glucose uptake in mouse adipocytic 3T3-L1 cells. Avicularin was highly purified (purity of more than at least 99%) from Taxillus kaempferi (DC.) Danser (Loranthaceae) by high-performance liquid chromatography, and its structure was determined by nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry. Avicularin decreased the intracellular triglyceride level along with a reduction in the expression of adipogenic genes such as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) α, and aP2 (fatty acid-binding protein 4). In contrast, avicularin did not affect the expression of lipogenic and lipolytic genes. Interestingly, the expression of the GLUT4 gene was significantly suppressed in an avicularin-concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, the binding of C/EBPα to the promoter region of the GLUT4 gene was repressed by adding avicularin to the medium in 3T3-L1 cells, as demonstrated by the results of a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. These results indicate that avicularin inhibited the accumulation of the intracellular lipids by decreasing C/EBPα-activated GLUT4-mediated glucose uptake in adipocytes.

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