Docosahexaenoic acid inhibits zymogen activation by suppressing vacuolar ATPase activation in cerulein-stimulated pancreatic acinar cells

Yeeun Park, Leeyeon Ku, Joo Weon Lim, Hyeyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The premature activation of digestive enzyme zymogens within pancreatic acinar cells is an important early feature of acute pancreatitis. Supraphysiological concentrations of cholecystokinin (CCK) cause intrapancreatic zymogen activation and acute pancreatitis. Stimulation of vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) activity is required for zymogen activation in pancreatic acinar cells. Parkin, a multiprotein E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, promotes vATPase ubiquitination and degradation, which inhibits vATPase activity. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, exerts anti-inflammatory effects. It is reported to bind to G-protein coupled receptor 120 (GPR120) and GPR40. DHA induces the degradation of certain proteins by activating ubiquitin-proteasome system in various cells. This study aimed to investigate whether DHA induces Parkin and inhibits vATPase activity, resulting in zymogen inactivation in pancreatic acinar AR42J cells stimulated with cerulein, a CCK analog. Results: Cerulein induced the translocation of the cytosolic V1 domain (E subunit) of vATPase to the membrane, which indicated vATPase activation, and zymogen activation in AR42J cells. DHA suppressed the association of the vATPase with membranes, and zymogen activation (increased trypsin activity and amylase release) induced by cerulein. Pretreatment with a GPR120 antagonist AH-7614, a GPR40 antagonist DC260126, or an ubiquitination inhibitor PYR-41 reduced the effect of DHA on cerulein-induced zymogen activation. Treatment with PYR-41 reversed the DHA-induced decrease in vATPase activation in cerulein-treated cells. Furthermore, DHA increased the level of Parkin in membranes of cerulein-treated cells. Conclusions: DHA upregulates Parkin which inhibits vATPase-mediated zymogen activation, via GPR120 and GPR40, in cerulein-stimulated pancreatic acinar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalGenes and Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 23

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Genetics


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