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Antidiabetic activities of triterpenoids isolated from bitter melon associated with activation of the AMPK pathway


Four cucurbitane glycosides, momordicosides Q, R, S, and T, and stereochemistry-established karaviloside XI, were isolated from the vegetable bitter melon (Momordica charantia). These compounds and their aglycones exhibited a number of biologic effects beneficial to diabetes and obesity. In both L6 myotubes and 3T3-L1 adipocytes, they stimulated GLUT4 translocation to the cell membrane--an essential step for inducible glucose entry into cells. This was associated with increased activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a key pathway mediating glucose uptake and fatty acid oxidation. Furthermore, momordicoside(s) enhanced fatty acid oxidation and glucose disposal during glucose tolerance tests in both insulin-sensitive and insulin-resistant mice. These findings indicate that cucurbitane triterpenoids, the characteristic constituents of M. charantia, may provide leads as a class of therapeutics for diabetes and obesity.

Type Journal
ISBN 1074-5521 (Print)
Authors Tan, M. J.;Ye, J. M.;Turner, N.;Hohnen-Behrens, C.;Ke, C. Q.;Tang, C. P.;Chen, T.;Weiss, H. C.;Gesing, E. R.;Rowland, A.;James, D. E.;Ye, Y. :
Published Date 2008-01-01
Published Volume 15
Published Issue 3
Published Pages 263-73
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version