Taxifolin Exerts Cytoprotective Effect by Activation of Nrf2-ARE Signaling Pathway in HepG2 cells


  • Papavee Samatiwat
  • Auemduan Prawan
  • Laddawan Senggunprai
  • Veerapol Kukongviriyapan


Nrf2, Antioxidant, Cytoprotective effect, Doxorubicin, reporter assay


Background: Oxidative stress contributes to various deleterious health effects including aging, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Cells have developed adaptive cytoprotective response by up-regulation of the antioxidant defense systems including Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway. Nrf2 (Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) protein activated by oxidative stress and electrophiles is contributed to the cytoprotective effect by induction of antioxidant gene expression through the binding with cis-acting consensus sequence so-called antioxidant response element (ARE).  Phytochemicals are rich in antioxidant activity and some effects are produced by induction of antioxidant genes through Nrf2-ARE. 

Methods: Our study have screened for inducers of Nrf2-ARE signaling pathway, using HepG2 cells transiently transfected with plasmid containing ARE-luciferase reporter and plasmid with Renilla-luciferase reporter.  The cytotoxicity assay was performed by sulforhodamine B assay.

Results: Taxifolin was able to induce the Nrf2-ARE in ARE-luciferase reporter assay stronger than other tested phytochemicals and shown to have modest toxicity in HepG2 cells.  Taxifolin showed cytoprotective effect in a model of doxorubicin-induced cytotoxicity.  When HepG2 cells were pretreated with taxifolin 18 h, the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin was greatly decreased. 

Conclusion:  The study showed that inducer of Nrf2-ARE pathway including taxifolin could provide health benefit in protection against oxidative injury.


How to Cite

Samatiwat P, Prawan A, Senggunprai L, Kukongviriyapan V. Taxifolin Exerts Cytoprotective Effect by Activation of Nrf2-ARE Signaling Pathway in HepG2 cells. SRIMEDJ [Internet]. 2014 Nov. 15 [cited 2024 Apr. 17];29(4):122-5. Available from: