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Food Funct. 2017 Jan 25;8(1):142-150. doi: 10.1039/c6fo01139j.

A novel antioxidant peptide derived from wheat germ prevents high glucose-induced oxidative stress in vascular smooth muscle cells in vitro.

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College of Food Science and Engineering/Collaborative Innovation Center for Modern Grain Circulation and Safety/Key Laboratory of Grains and Oils Quality Control and Processing, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing 210023, China.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.


The ingestion of whole wheat products is responsible for the prevention of a number of chronic diseases. The aim of this study is to characterize the molecular properties of a novel wheat germ-derived antioxidant peptide (AOP) in protection against high glucose-induced oxidative stress in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). AOP (amino acid sequence AREGETVVPG) was isolated from wheat germ albumin using dual-enzymatic hydrolysis/separation, followed by MS/MS. The in vitro IC50 value for Fe2+ chelation was 0.77 mM. The stability of purified AOP was confirmed by hydrolyzation in a simulated gastrointestinal (GI) digestion system in vitro. Furthermore, AOP significantly prevented high glucose-induced cell growth by 37.4 ± 2.7%, decreased the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) by 22.3 ± 4.6%, suppressed the phosphorylation of PKCζ, AKT and Erk1/2, and inhibited Nox4 protein expression. Our findings suggested that AOP exerted a protective role against high glucose-induced oxidative stress through the inhibition of the PKCζ/Nox4 signaling pathway in VSMCs.

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