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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2009 Jun 24;57(12):pp 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 expression.

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