Biomedicines | 2021

The Insulin Receptor: A Potential Target of Amarogentin Isolated from Gentiana rigescens Franch That Induces Neurogenesis in PC12 Cells



Amarogentin (AMA) is a secoiridoid glycoside isolated from the traditional Chinese medicine, Gentiana rigescens Franch. AMA exhibits nerve growth factor (NGF)-mimicking and NGF-enhancing activities in PC12 cells and in primary cortical neuron cells. In this study, a possible mechanism was found showing the remarkable induction of phosphorylation of the insulin receptor (INSR) and protein kinase B (AKT). The potential target of AMA was predicted by using a small-interfering RNA (siRNA) and the cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA). The AMA-induced neurite outgrowth was reduced by the siRNA against the INSR and the results of the CETSA suggested that the INSR showed a significant thermal stability-shifted effect upon AMA treatment. Other neurotrophic signaling pathways in PC12 cells were investigated using specific inhibitors, Western blotting and PC12(rasN17) and PC12(mtGAP) mutants. The inhibitors of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), phospholipase C (PLC) and protein kinase C (PKC), Ras, Raf and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK) significantly reduced the neurite outgrowth induced by AMA in PC12 cells. Furthermore, the phosphorylation reactions of GR, PLC, PKC and an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) were significantly increased after inducing AMA and markedly decreased after treatment with the corresponding inhibitors. Collectively, these results suggested that AMA-induced neuritogenic activity in PC12 cells potentially depended on targeting the INSR and activating the downstream Ras/Raf/ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways. In addition, the GR/PLC/PKC signaling pathway was found to be involved in the neurogenesis effect of AMA.

Volume 9
Pages None
DOI 10.3390/biomedicines9050581
Language English
Journal Biomedicines

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