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β-Sitosterol-D-Glucopyranoside Mimics Estrogenic Properties and Stimulates Glucose Utilization in Skeletal Muscle Cells

Estrogenic molecules have been reported to regulate glucose homeostasis and may be beneficial for diabetes management. Here, we investigated the estrogenic effect of β-sitosterol-3-O-D-glucopyranoside (BSD), isolated from the fruits of Cupressus sempervirens and monitored its ability to regulate glucose utilization in skeletal muscle cells. BSD stimulated ERE-mediated luciferase activity in both ERα and ERβ-ERE luc expression system with greater response through ERβ in HEK-293T cells, and induced the expression of estrogen-regulated genes in estrogen responsive MCF-7 cells. In silico docking and molecular interaction studies revealed the affinity and interaction of BSD with ERβ through hydrophobic interaction and hydrogen bond pairing. Furthermore, prolonged exposure of L6-GLUT4myc myotubes to BSD raised the glucose uptake under basal conditions without affecting the insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, the effect associated with enhanced translocation of GLUT4 to the cell periphery. The BSD-mediated biological response to increase GLUT4 translocation was obliterated by PI-3-K inhibitor wortmannin, and BSD significantly increased the phosphorylation of AKT (Ser-473). Moreover, BSD-induced GLUT4 translocation was prevented in the presence of fulvestrant. Our findings reveal the estrogenic activity of BSD to stimulate glucose utilization in skeletal muscle cells via PI-3K/AKT-dependent mechanism.

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