A natural propenoic acid derivative activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-β/δ (PPARβ/δ)

Salvatore Genovese, Jennifer E. Foreman, Michael G. Borland, Francesco Epifano, Frank J. Gonzalez, Massimo Curini, Jeffrey M. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Aims: Previous studies showed that natural prenyloxyphenylpropanoid derivatives have potent biological properties in vivo. Given the structural similarities between these compounds and known peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists, the present study examined the hypothesis that propenoic acid derivatives activate PPARs. Main methods: Chimeric reporter assays were performed to identify propenoic acid derivates that could activate PPARs. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis of wild-type and Pparβ/δ-null mouse primary keratinocytes was performed to determine if a test compound could specifically activate PPARβ/δ. A human epithelial carcinoma cell line and primary mouse keratinocytes were used to determine the effect of the compound on cell proliferation. Key findings: Three of the propenoic acid derivatives activated PPARs, with the greatest efficacy being observed with prenyloxycinnamic acid derivatives 4'-geranyloxyferulic acid (compound 1) for PPARβ/δ. Compound 1 increased expression of a known PPARβ/δ target gene through a mechanism that requires PPARβ/δ. Inhibition of cell proliferation by compound 1 was found in a human epithelial carcinoma cell line. Significance: Results from these studies demonstrate that compound 1 can activate PPARβ/δ and inhibit cell proliferation of a human skin cancer cell line, suggesting that the biological effects of 4'-geranyloxyferulic acid may be mediated in part by activating this PPAR isoform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalLife Sciences
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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