Sesame lignans upregulate glutathione S-transferase expression and downregulate microRNA-669c-3p

Yuki Marugame, Natsuko Takeshita, Shuhei Yamada, Ren Yoshitomi, Motofumi Kumazoe, Yoshinori Fujimura, Hirofumi Tachibana

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Oxidative stress is associated with aging and pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. Glutathione S-transferase (GST), a family of detoxification enzymes, plays a crucial role in countering oxidative stress. Therefore, there is a need for the development of physiologically functional foods and agricultural products, which enhance GST activity. Sesamin and episesamin are major lignans in refined sesame oil that exhibit beneficial properties including antioxidative stress effects. A previous study showed that sesamin upregulated GST activity. This study aimed to elucidate the mechanism underlying the GST activity enhancement elicited by sesame lignans. C57BL/6J mice were orally administered 20 mg/kg body weight sesame lignans (sesamin:episesamin=1:1) for 7 days. Oral administration of sesame lignans increased the GST activity in the mouse liver. Furthermore, the lignans upregulated GSTA1, GSTA4, and GSTM4 protein expression. Microarray analysis revealed that sesame lignans changed the expression of various microRNAs (miRNAs) (84 upregulated, 19 downregulated). We also found 16 miRNAs, including miR-669c-3p, that may negatively regulate GST expression among the 19 miRNAs with reduced expression caused by the sesame lignans. miR-669c is reportedly negatively correlated with GST. Additionally, we transfected NMuLi cells with an miR-669c-3p mimic and evaluated the effect of miR-669c-3p on GST mRNA and protein expressions. The results showed that the miR-669c-3p mimic suppressed the mRNA and protein levels of GSTA4 and GSTM4. In conclusion, sesame lignans increased GST protein expression and activity and downregulated miRNAs, including miR-669c-3p, which is a possible suppressor of GST.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalBioscience of Microbiota, Food and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Gastroenterology


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