The trisaccharide raffinose modulates epidermal differentiation through activation of liver X receptor.

Na TY, Kim GH, Oh HJ et al.

College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.

Scientific reports. Mar 2017.

The epidermal barrier function requires optimal keratinocyte differentiation and epidermal lipid synthesis. Liver X receptor (LXR) α and β, are important transcriptional regulators of the epidermal gene expression. Here, we show that raffinose, a ubiquitously present trisaccharide in plants, activated the transcriptional activity of LXRα/β, which led to the induction of genes required for keratinocyte differentiation such as involucrin and filaggrin, and genes involved in lipid metabolism and transport including SCD1 and ABCA1 in both HaCaT and normal human epidermal keratinocytes. Raffinose induced the expression of JunD and Fra1, and their DNA binding in the AP1 motif in the promoters of involucrin and loricrin. Interestingly, LXR bound the AP1 motif upon raffinose treatment, and conversely, JunD and Fra1 bound the LXR response element in promoters of LXR target genes, which indicates the presence of a postive cross-talk between LXR and AP1 in the regualtion of these genes. Finally, the effect of raffinose in epidermal barrier function was confirmed by applying raffinose in an ointment formulation to the skin of hairless mice. These findings suggest that raffinose could be examined as an ingredient in functional cosmetics and therapeutic agents for the treatment of cutaneous disorders associated with abnormal epidermal barrier function.


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