Peptides derived from buffalo dairy products possess multiple healthy properties that cannot be exerted as long as they are encrypted in parent proteins. To evaluate the biological activities of encrypted peptide sequences from buffalo ricotta cheese, we performed a simulated gastrointestinal (GI) digestion. Chemical and pharmacological characterization of the digest led to the identification of a novel peptide endowed with antioxidant and antihypertensive action. The GI digest was fractionated by Semiprep-HPLC, and fractions were tested against reactive oxygen species (ROS) release in an H2O2-treated intestinal epithelial cell line. UHPLC-PDA-MS/MS analysis revealed the presence of an abundant β-lactoglobulin peptide (BRP2) in the most active fraction. Pharmacological characterization of BRP2 highlighted its antioxidant activity, involving ROS reduction, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) activation, and cytoprotective enzyme expression. The bioavailability of BRP2 was evaluated in intestinal transport studies through a Caco-2 cell monolayer. Equal bidirectional transport and linear permeability indicate that BRP2 was absorbed mainly through passive diffusion. In addition to its local effects, the BRP2 administration on mouse mesenteric arteries was able to reduce the angiotensin II-induced vasoconstriction by the Nrf2 nuclear translocation, the reduction of the active form of Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1), and the NADPH oxidase activity. These data further highlight the role of buffalo ricotta cheese-derived peptides against oxidative stress-related diseases and suggest their health-promoting potential.
- Cell Biology