In the current study, the protective effects of phloretin were investigated in acrolein-challenged amino acid, protein, and cell models. It was found that the formation of FDP-lysine (a typical acrolein-lysine adduct) was strongly inhibited in the presence of phloretin and the remaining electrophilic site in FDP-lysine was also blocked by phloretin. Moreover, direct trapping of acrolein by phloretin was found to be responsible for inhibiting the incorporation of carbonyl groups into BSA and oligomerisation in RNase A. Subsequently, the reduction of LDH release in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells under acrolein challenge suggested the cytoprotective effects of phloretin. Such protection might be mediated through inhibiting the increased cellular protein carbonyl level as revealed by Western blotting analysis. The present study highlighted an apple phenolic compound, phloretin as a promising candidate in prevention or treatment of acrolein-associated human diseases.
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