Nuclear receptors represent a very good family of protein targets for the prevention and treatment of diverse diseases. In this study, we screened natural compounds and their derivatives, and discovered ligands for the retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and the farnesoid X receptor (FXR). In the reporter assay systems of nuclear receptors presented here, two fluorescent proteins, enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) and enhanced cyan fluorescent protein (ECFP), were used for detection of a ligand-based induction and as an internal control, respectively. By optimizing the conditions (e.g., of hormone response elements and promoter genes for reporter plasmids), we established a battery of assay systems for ligands of RARs, retinoid X receptor (RXR) and FXR. The screening using the reporter assay system can be carried out without the addition of co-factors or substrates. As a result of screening of more than 140 compounds, several compounds were detected which activate RARs and/or FXR. Caffeic acid phenylethyl ester (CAPE), known as a component of propolis from honeybee hives, and other derivatives of caffeic acid up-regulated the expression of reporter gene for RARs. Grifolin and ginkgolic acids, which are non-steroidal skeleton compounds purified from mushroom or ginkgo leaves, up-regulated the expression of the reporter gene for FXR.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Drug Discovery
- Complementary and alternative medicine