Coumestrol induces mitochondrial biogenesis by activating sirt1 in cultured skeletal muscle cells

Dae Bang Seo, Hyun Woo Jeong, Sang Jun Lee, Sung Joon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The mitochondrion is a central organelle in cellular energy homeostasis; thus, reduced mitochondrial activity has been associated with aging and metabolic disorders. This paper provides biological evidence that coumestrol, which is a natural isoflavone, activates mitochondrial biogenesis. In cultured myocytes, coumestrol activated the silent information regulator two ortholog 1 (Sirt1) through the elevation of the intracellular NAD+/NADH ratio. Coumestrol also increased the mitochondrial contents and induced the expression of key proteins in the mitochondrial electron transfer chain in cultured myocytes. A Sirt1 inhibitor and Sirt1-targeting siRNAs abolished the effect of coumestrol on mitochondrial biogenesis. Similar to an increase in mitochondrial content, coumestrol improved myocyte function with increased ATP concentration. Taken together, the data suggest that coumestrol is a novel inducer of mitochondrial biogenesis through the activation of Sirt1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4298-4305
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May 14


  • Sirt1
  • coumestrol
  • mitochondrial biogenesis
  • myocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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