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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2009 Jun 24;57(12):5257-64.

Pu-erh tea attenuates hyperlipogenesis and induces hepatoma cells growth arrest through activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in human HepG2 cells.

Way TD, Lin HY, Kuo DH, Tsai SJ, Shieh JC, Wu JC, Lee MR, Lin JK.

Department of Biological Science and Technology, College of Life Sciences, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan.

In the present study, we successively extracted the pu-erh raw tea with methanol (PR-1), chloroform (PR-2), ethyl acetate (PR-3), n-butanol (PR-4), and water (PR-5). Among these extracts, PR-3 extract contained ingredients with the most effective hypolipidemic potential and was further purified by column chromatography. Moreover, chronic administration of PR-3 provoked a significant reduction in levels of serum triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in rats. Our study demonstrated that fraction 5 from the PR-3 extract (PR-3-5s) showed a hypolipidemic effect in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. PR-3-5s decreased the expression of fatty acid synthase (FASN) and inhibited the activity of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) by stimulating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) through the LKB1 pathway. Moreover, PR-3-5s blocked the progression of the cell cycle at the G1 phase by inducing p53 expression and in turn upregulating p21 effects of tea and tea polyphenols, the cancer-chemopreventive effects in various animal model systems have been intensively investigated; meanwhile, the hypolipidemic and antiobesity effects in animals and humans have also become a hot issue for molecular nutrition and food research. It has been demonstrated that the body weights of rats and their plasma triglyceride, cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol have been significantly reduced by feedings of oolong, black, pu-erh, and green tea leaves to the animals. It has been suggested that the inhibition of growth and suppression of lipogenesis in MCF-7 breast cancer cells may be through down-regulation of fatty acid synthase gene expression in the nucleus and stimulation of cell energy expenditure in the mitochondria. The experimental data indicated that the molecular mechanisms of fatty acid synthase gene suppression by tea polyphenols (EGCG, theaflavins) may invite down-regulation of EGFR/PI3K/Akt/Sp-1 signal transduction pathways.

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