Withanolide derivatives have anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and other functions and are components of Indian traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Here, we found that 2,3-dihydro-3β-methoxy withaferin-A (3βmWi-A), a derivative of withaferin-A (Wi-A) belonging to a class of withanolides that are abundant in Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), lengthened the period of the circadian clock. This compound dose-dependently elongated circadian rhythms in Sarcoma 180 cancer cells and in normal fibroblasts including NIH3T3 and spontaneously immortalized mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF). Furthermore, 3βmWi-A dose-dependently upregulated the mRNA expression and promoter activities of Bmal1 after dexamethasone stimulation and of the nuclear orphan receptors, Rora and Nr1d1, that comprise the stabilization loop for Bmal1 oscillatory expression. We showed that 3βmWi-A functions as an inverse agonist for RORa with an IC50 of 11.3 μM and that 3βmWi-A directly, but weakly, interacts with RORa (estimated dissociation constant [Kd], 5.9 μM). We propose that 3βmWi-A is a novel modulator of circadian rhythms.
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Date of publication: 21 June 2021; Journal of Natural Products
Author information: Tatsunosuke Tomita (1); Renu Wadhwa (1); Sunil C. Kaul (1); Ryoji Kurita (2); Naoshi Kojima (2); Yoshiaki Onishi (3);
(1) Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Higashi 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8565, Japan
(2) Health and Medical Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Higashi 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8566, Japan
(3) Biomedical Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Higashi 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8566, Japan