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J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 Jun 28;26(6):1063-6. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1601.01092.

Longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) Fruit Extract Stimulates Osteoblast Differentiation via Erk1/2-Dependent RUNX2 Activation.

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Department of Bio and Fermentation Convergence Technology, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Republic of Korea.
Cancer Genomics Branch National Cancer Center, Goyang 10408, Republic of Korea.


Longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) has been used as a traditional oriental medicine and possesses a number of physiological activities. In this study, we used cell-based herbal extract screening to identify longan fruit extract (LFE) as an activator of osteoblast differentiation. LFE up-regulated alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, induced mineralization, and activated Runx2 gene expression in MC3T3-E1 cells. Furthermore, treatment of MC3T3-E1 cells with LFE promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2 (Erk1/2); however, abrogation of Erk1/2 activation with PD98059 resulted in down-regulation of the phospho- SMAD1/5/8 and Runx2 levels, which in turn reduced the ALP activity. Our findings suggest that LFE exerts its osteogenic activity through activation of the ERK signaling pathway and may have potential as an herbal therapeutic or a preventive agent for the treatment of osteoporosis.


Erk1/2 pathway; Longan fruit extract; herbal medicine; osteoblast differentiation

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