Testosterone plays an important role in male sexual characteristics and maturation, and decreased testosterone levels increase the risk of several diseases. Recently, onion extract rich in cysteine sulfoxides, which are amino acids unique to onions, has been reported to alleviate age-related symptoms resulting from decreased testosterone levels in males. However, the mechanism underlying the suppression of low testosterone levels by cysteine sulfoxides has not been elucidated. In this study, we found that onion extract containing cysteine sulfoxides enhanced progesterone, a precursor of testosterone, in mouse testis-derived I-10 tumor cells. Furthermore, cysteine sulfoxides activated protein kinase A (PKA) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding protein, which are key factors in steroidogenesis. These results suggest that cysteine sulfoxides enhance steroid hormone production via activation of the PKA signaling pathway.
- Cysteine sulfoxides
- Protein kinase A (PKA)