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Cowpea bean peptides (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) and cholesterol: micellar interaction, cellular permeation and genic expression

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Marcelo Rodrigues Marques
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: São Paulo.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Saúde Pública (FSP/CIR)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Jose Alfredo Gomes Areas; Ivo Lebrun; Valeria Sutti Nunes; Pedro Ismael da Silva Junior; Elizabeth Aparecida Ferraz da Silva Torres
Advisor: Jose Alfredo Gomes Areas

Introduction: Food proteins are sources of peptides acting in sevral metabolic processes. There is evidence that cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) protein is able to lower cholesterol levels in hamsters and humans, but its permeability after digestion, mechanism of action and direct evidences of peptide participation in cholesterol metabolism are not clear. Objective: To investigate the intestinal permeability and to evaluate the effect on the luminal and endogenous cholesterol metabolism pathways of peptides from cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp). Methods: The permeability of the cowpea peptides produced by enzymatic hydrolysis was tested on Caco-2 cell lines using Transwell® plates. To investigate the effect on the luminal pathway, three peptides identified in the 3 kDa hydrolyzate fraction (LLNPDDEQL; FFFGQDGGSKGEE and LNL) were tested for in vitro cholesterol and phosphatidylcholine solubilization, cholesterol micelle size changing and interaction with bile acids. To verify the effect on endogenous metabolism, HepG2 cell lines were incubated with synthetic peptides (MELNAVSVVHS or MELNAVSVVSH) identified as a result of the permeation assay on Caco-2 cells. The mRNA expression of the cholesterol transporters NPC1L1, ABCA1 and ABCG1 was performed on Caco-2 cells and the expression of HMGCR, SREBP2, LDLR, LXR, AMPK1 was evaluated in HepG2 cells. Results: Exposure of Caco-2 cells to the 3 kDa hydrolyzate fraction (2.5 and 5 mg/mL) increased ABCG1 expression at 6 h and 12 h times. The mRNA levels of the SREBP2, HMGCR and LDLR genes were reduced in HepG2 after 24h of treatment with the MELNAVSVVHS peptide (50 M and 100 M). The 3 kDa of the hydrolyzate fraction and the peptides LLNPDDEQL; FFFGQDGGSKGEE and LNL were able to reduce the solubility of micellar cholesterol in vitro in a maximum of 42 per cent , as well as, caused structural changes when interacting with phosphatidylcholine, with emphasis on the LNL peptide (50 per cent of binding). The LNL peptide alone was able to promote cholesterol precipitation in the form of crystals due to interaction with bile acids. Conclusions: The 3 kDa hydrolysate fraction and all peptides tested were able to insolubilize cholesterol in vitro. It was observed that the mechanism of competition for the intramicellar space with cholesterol is given by the interaction with the micellar components and not directly with the cholesterol. The MELNAVSVVHS cowpea peptide was permeable and was able to reduce the expression of the SREBP2 transcription factor (thereby reducing HMGCR and LDLR) (AU)

FAPESP's process: 13/09304-2 - Modulating of cholesterol biosynthesis and absorption by peptides from cowpea bean (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp)
Grantee:Marcelo Rodrigues Marques
Support type: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate