Jin-Taek Hwang is a scientist in the field of functional food research. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Kyung Hee University. He is currently working in the Korea Food Research Institute. Current efforts are focused on identifying the active compounds against metabolic syndrome. Dr. Hwang is also interested in the study of nutritional epigenetics.
In the present study, we evaluated the anti-obesity effect of Anacardic acid, a phenolic lipid found in cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale) and elucidated the underlying mechanisms focused on the epigenetic enzymes. We sought to investigate the effect of Anacardic acid on 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation. Oil-red O staining revealed that Anacardic acid reduced MDI-stimulated lipid accumulation in 3T3-L1 cells, in the absence of observable cytotoxicity. Western blot analysis showed that Fatty acid synthase (FAS) and Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR) expressions were significantly increased by 7 days in MDI-stimulated 3T3-L1 cells, whereas treatment of Anacardic acid markedly decreased the MDI-stimulated FAS and PPAR expressions. In addition, total lysine acetylations were significantly enhanced in MDI-stimulated 3T3-L1 cells, and were decreased by Anacardic acid. Interestingly, histone H3K9 acetylation, an epigenetic modification marker was significantly increased by 7 days in MDI-stimulated 3T3-L1 cells, whereas treatment of Anacardic acid markedly decreased the MDI-stimulated Histone H3K9 acetylation. Taken together, these results suggest that Anacardic acid inhibits the MDI-stimulated adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1, and may involve the targeting of histone H3K 9 acetylation.
The research field of Dr. So-Young Park is natural product chemistry and development of functional food. She holds several patents regarding natural substances having potentials as anti-Alzheimer’s agents. She has worked on to discover natural products which inhibit beta-amyloid production or aggregation, and neuroinflammation. In addition, she expended her research interest to search natural products beneficial for osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
The advancement of medicine has increased life expectancy, but people are more interested in extending healthy life instead of living unhealthy long life. Ageing increases the incidence of geriatric diseases including cardiovascular diseases, dementia, cataract and osteoarthritis. Among the diseases, bone-related disorders including fracture and osteoporosis affect adversely in the quality of life for old people. Therefore, it is necessary to develop natural substances promoting bone-health without side effects which could be used as food itself or functional food. In this study, we selected 13 natural resources, extracted them with 70% ethanol and boiling water (26 extracts), and tested them for the promoting effects on pre-osteoblastic cell (MC3T3-E1) differentiation using Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) assay. As the results, 4 extracts from grapes, ginseng, cranberry and roasted peanuts significantly increased the differentiation of pre-osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells in APL assay. Particularly, roasted peanuts exhibited the best activity on the differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells. The roasted peanut extract was partitioned based on solvent polarity to n-hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and water fractions, and these fractions were also applied to ALP assay. Ethyl acetate fraction the most efficiently induced the differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells. Then, in order to figure out whether the one of the active compounds included in roasted peanuts is resveratrol, the presence of resveratrol in roasted peanuts were determined by TLC and HPLC. The results revealed that the active compounds in roasted peanuts were not resveratrol. Taken together, roasted peanuts might be beneficial for bone-health by promoting osteoblastic differentiation. Thus, the identification of active compounds other than resveratrol is under investigation. Furthermore, beneficial effects of roasted peanuts on osteoporosis is also under investigation with ovariectomized in vivo animal model.