Apamin inhibits hepatic fibrosis through suppression of transforming growth factor B1-induced hepatocyte epithelial-mesenchymal transition

Woo-Ram Lee, Kyung-Hyun Kim, Hyun-Jin An, Jung-Yeon Kim, Sun-Jae Lee, Sang-Mi Han, Sokcheon Pak, Kwan-Kyu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Apamin is an integral part of bee venom, as a peptide component. It has long been known as a highly selective block Ca2+-activated K + (SK) channels. However, the cellular mechanism and anti-fibrotic effect of apamin in TGF-?1-induced hepatocytes have not been explored. In the present study, we investigated the anti-fibrosis or anti-EMT mechanism by examining the effect of apamin on TGF-?1-induced hepatocytes. AML12 cells were seeded at ?60% confluence in complete growth medium. Twenty-four hours later, the cells were changed to serum free medium containing the indicated concentrations of apamin. After 30 min, the cells were treated with 2 ng/ml of TGF-?1 and co-cultured for 48 h. Also, we investigated the effects of apamin on the CCl4-induced liver fibrosis animal model. Treatment of AML12 cells with 2 ng/ml of TGF-?1 resulted in loss of E-cadherin protein at the cell-cell junctions and concomitant increased expression of vimentin. In addition, phosphorylation levels of ERK1/2, Akt, Smad2/3 and Smad4 were increased by TGF-?1 stimulation. However, cells treated concurrently with TGF-?1 and apamin retained high levels of localized expression of E-cadherin and showed no increase in vimentin. Specifically, treatment with 2 ?g/ml of apamin almost completely blocked the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, Akt, Smad2/3 and Smad4 in AML12 cells. In addition, apamin exhibited prevention of pathological changes in the CCl4-injected animal models. These results demonstrate the potential of apamin for the prevention of EMT progression induced by TGF-?1 in vitro and CCl4-injected in vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume450
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

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