Geranylgeranylacetone (GGA) has been introduced into the clinical field as an anti-ulcer drug. In addition to protective effects on gastric mucosal cells, GGA also has anti-apoptotic effects against ischemia and reperfusion injury in hepatocytes and intestinal cells. However, the molecular mechanisms of the cytoprotective or anti-apoptotic effect of GGA are largely unknown. To explore the molecular mechanism of GGA action, we focused on thioredoxin (TRX), an endogenous-redox-acting molecule. We have demonstrated that GGA induces the messenger RNA and protein of TRX and affects the activation of transcription factors, AP-1 and NF-kappaB, and that GGA blunted ethanol-induced cytotoxicity of cultured hepatocytes. These results provide evidence suggesting that a possible novel molecular mechanism of GGA is to protect cells via the induction of TRX and the activation of transcription factors such as NF-kappaB and AP-1.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.