Publications by authors named "Ahyoung Yoo"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

2,6-Dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone increases skeletal muscle mass and performance by regulating AKT/mTOR signaling and mitochondrial function.

Phytomedicine 2021 Jul 10;91:153658. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Division of Food Functionality Research, Korea Food Research Institute, Wanju-gun 55365, South Korea; Division of Food Biotechnology, University of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34113, South Korea. Electronic address:

Background: 2,6-Dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone (DMBQ), a natural phytochemical present in fermented wheat germ, has been reported to exert anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-adipogenic effects. However, the effect of DMBQ on muscle hypertrophy and myoblast differentiation has not been elucidated.

Purpose: We investigated the effect of DMBQ on skeletal muscle mass and muscle function and then determined the possible mechanism of DMBQ.

Methods: To examine myogenic differentiation and hypertrophy, confluent C2C12 cells were incubated in differentiation medium with or without various concentrations of DMBQ for 4 days. In animal experiments, C57BL/6 mice were fed DMBQ-containing AIN-93 diet for 7 weeks. Grip strength, treadmill, microscopic evaluation of muscle tissue, western blotting, and quantitative real-time PCR were performed.

Results: DMBQ significantly increased fusion index, myotube size, and the protein expression of myosin heavy chain (MHC). DMBQ increased the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT) and p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (S6K), whereas the phosphorylation of these proteins was abolished by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 in C2C12 cells. In addition, DMBQ treatment increased peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC1α), which programs mitochondrial biogenesis, protein levels compared with control C2C12 cells. DMBQ significantly increased maximal respiration and spare respiratory capacity in C2C12 cells. In animal experiments, DMBQ increased skeletal muscle weights and skeletal muscle fiber size compared with the control group values. In addition, the DMBQ group showed increased grip strength and running distance on an accelerating treadmill. The protein expression of total MHC, MHC1, MHC2A, and MHC2B in skeletal muscle was upregulated by DMBQ supplementation. We found that DMBQ increased the phosphorylation of AKT and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), as well as downstream S6K and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1) in skeletal muscle. DMBQ also stimulated mRNA expression of PGC1α, accompanied by an increase in mitochondrial DNA content, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) proteins, and oxidative enzyme activity.

Conclusion: Collectively, DMBQ was shown to increase skeletal muscle mass and performance by regulating the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway and enhancing mitochondrial function, which might be useful for the treatment and prevention of skeletal muscle atrophy.
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July 2021

Identifying Codium fragile extract components and their effects on muscle weight and exercise endurance.

Food Chem 2021 Aug 7;353:129463. Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Natural Materials and Metabolism Research Group, Korea Food Research Institute, Wanju-gun 55365, Republic of Korea; Major of Food Science & Technology, Seoul Women's University, Seoul 01797, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:

Codium fragile (CF) is a type of green algae consumed as kimchi in Asia. UPLC-QTOF-MS/MS analysis showed that CF contain lysophosphatidyl choline, canthaxanthin, retinoic acid, α-tocopherol, and unsaturated fatty acids, which reportedly improve skeletal muscle health. However, the effect of CF on skeletal muscle mass and function remains to be elucidated. In mice fed with CF extracts, exercise endurance and muscle weight increased. CF extracts enhanced protein synthesis and myogenic differentiation through the mTORC1 pathway. CF extracts also promoted oxidative muscle fiber formation and mitochondrial biogenesis through the PGC-1α-related signaling pathway. Upregulation of PGC-1α by CF extracts was abolished by EX527 SIRT1 inhibitor treatment. Changed signaling molecules in the CF extracts were partially regulated by canthaxanthin, a new compound in CF extracts, suggesting that canthaxanthin contribute synergistically to the effect of CF extracts. Therefore, CF is a potential food source for sport nutrition or prevention of sarcopenia.
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August 2021

var. Attenuates Obesity-Induced Skeletal Muscle Atrophy via Regulation of PRMTs in Skeletal Muscle of Mice.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Apr 17;21(8). Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Division of Food Functionality Research, Korea Food Research Institute, Wanju-gun 55365, Korea.

As obesity promotes ectopic fat accumulation in skeletal muscle, resulting in impaired skeletal muscle and mitochondria function, it is associated with skeletal muscle loss and dysfunction. This study investigated whether var. (CZH) protected mice against obesity-induced skeletal muscle atrophy and the underlying molecular mechanisms. High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice were orally administered either distilled water, low-dose CZH (125 mg/kg), or high-dose CZH (250 mg/kg) for 8 w. CZH reduced obesity-induced increases in inflammatory cytokines levels and skeletal muscle atrophy, which is induced by expression of atrophic genes such as muscle RING-finger protein 1 and muscle atrophy F-box. CZH also improved muscle function according to treadmill running results and increased the muscle fiber size in skeletal muscle. Furthermore, CZH upregulated mRNA and protein levels of protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMT)1 and PRMT7, which subsequently attenuated mitochondrial dysfunction in the skeletal muscle of obese mice. We also observed that CZH significantly decreased PRMT6 mRNA and protein expression, which resulted in decreased muscle atrophy. These results suggest that CZH ameliorated obesity-induced skeletal muscle atrophy in mice via regulation of PRMTs in skeletal muscle.
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April 2020

Scopolin ameliorates high-fat diet induced hepatic steatosis in mice: potential involvement of SIRT1-mediated signaling cascades in the liver.

Sci Rep 2017 05 22;7(1):2251. Epub 2017 May 22.

Department of Food and Nutrition, Brain Korea 21 PLUS Project, Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, 03722, South Korea.

The present study aimed to investigate whether scopolin exhibits beneficial effects on high-fat diet (HFD)-induced hepatic steatosis in mice. The involvement of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) as a molecular target for scopolin was also explored. Scopolin decreased the Km of SIRT1 for p53 and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide without altering Vmax in a cell-free system. Scopolin alleviated oleic acid-induced lipid accumulation and downregulation of SIRT1 activity in HepG2 cells, and these beneficial effects of scopolin were abolished in the presence of SIRT1 inhibitor. Mice administered 0.02% scopolin for 8 weeks exhibited improved phenotypes of HFD-induced hepatic steatosis along with increased hepatic SIRT1 activity and protein expression. Scopolin resulted in increased deacetylation of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c with subsequent downregulation of lipogenic genes, and enhanced deacetylation of protein peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1α with upregulation of fatty acid oxidation genes in livers. Scopolin also enhanced deacetylation of nuclear factor-kappa enhancer binding protein and liver kinase B1 (LKB1), facilitating LKB1/AMP-activated protein kinase signaling cascades. Scopolin attenuated hepatic steatosis through activation of SIRT1-mediated signaling cascades, a potent regulator of lipid homeostasis. Increased hepatic SIRT1 activity and protein expression appeared to be associated with these beneficial effects of scopolin.
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May 2017