Mulberry anthocyanin extract regulates glucose metabolism by promotion of glycogen synthesis and reduction of gluconeogenesis in human HepG2 cells
Mulberry has been demonstrated to possess important biological activities such as antioxidation and antiinflammation. However, research on the ability of mulberry for diabetes improvement mainly focuses on the leaves and less on the fruit. This study showed that a mulberry anthocyanin extract (MAE) had a significant effect on increasing the glucose consumption in HepG2 cells. The MAE enhanced the glycogen content and suppressed levels of glucose production. The enzyme activities of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) were decreased in HepG2 cells after MAE treatment due to PPARγ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) and forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1) inhibition. Moreover, the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT) and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β) was increased by the MAE, leading to an expression enhancement of glycogen synthase 2 (GYS2). And this effect was blocked by the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002. In summary, our results suggested that the MAE regulates glucose metabolism by activating the PI3K/AKT pathway that relates to glycogen synthesis as well as through the inhibition of key molecules that promote gluconeogenesis.