Bioactive compounds, such as peptides of proteins from legume seeds, have been studied as to their functional effects. These bioactive peptides released from their precursor proteins during the digestion process present effects as antioxidants, opium-like, antihypertensives, and hypocholesterolemic. Although peptides with cholesterol-lowering action have been described, their bioavailability and their effect on gene expression of several carriers and enzymes related to the absorption and cholesterol synthesis are unknown.This project aims to use the in vitro protocol for protein hydrolysates of white lupin subjected to permeation in Caco-2 cell cultures. It will be evaluated its effect on expression of transporter genes related to the intestinal absorption of cholesterol (NPC1L1, ABCG5 and ABCG8). The peptides that permeate the membrane will be identified and will be considered of being capable of achieving specific targets to perform certain actions, such as, for example, cholesterol-lowering effect by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol in liver, or by increasing the hepatic uptake of LDL-cholesterol. Two types of hydrolysis will be performed, a physiological one, seeking to simulate the body after food ingestion, and another one called industrial, using enzymes not available in the digestive tract, seeking the release of possible peptides encrypted in the native structure of proteins from lupin. This will allow better use of proteins and even the synthesis of these peptides for use in future clinical studies.In the second phase of the protocol, the peptides which are able to enter the enterocytes will be identified and exposed in liver cell culture (HepG2) to evaluate their effect on gene expression of HMG-CoA Reductase and LDL-C receptors. This way, one can understand which bioacessible peptides are bioavailable and what are their effects on cholesterol metabolism at the intestinal and liver level using Caco-2 and HepG2 cell systems, respectively.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: