Carnosic Acid and Carnosol Activate AMPK, Suppress Expressions of Gluconeogenic and Lipogenic Genes, and Inhibit Proliferation of HepG2 Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Apr 14 ;22(8). Epub 2021 Apr 14. PMID: 33919842
Carnosic acid (CA), carnosol (CL) and rosmarinic acid (RA), components of the herb rosemary, reportedly exert favorable metabolic actions. This study showed that both CA and CL, but not RA, induce significant phosphorylation of AMP-dependent kinase (AMPK) and its downstream acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1) in HepG2 hepatoma cells. Glucose-6-phosphatase (G6PC) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase 1 (PCK1), rate-limiting enzymes of hepatic gluconeogenesis, are upregulated by forskolin stimulation, and this upregulation was suppressed when incubated with CA or CL. Similarly, a forskolin-induced increase in CRE transcriptional activity involved in G6PC and PCK1 regulations was also stymied when incubated with CA or CL. In addition, mRNA levels of ACC1, fatty acid synthase (FAS) and sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c) were significantly reduced when incubated with CA or CL. Finally, it was shown that CA and CL suppressed cell proliferation and reduced cell viability, possibly as a result of AMPK activation. These findings raise the possibility that CA and CL exert a protective effect against diabetes and fatty liver disease, as well as subsequent cases of hepatoma.