Abstract Title:

Cinnamaldehyde enhances Nrf2 nuclear translocation to upregulate phase II detoxifying enzyme expression in HepG2 cells.

Abstract Source:

J Agric Food Chem. 2011 May 11;59(9):5164-71. Epub 2011 Apr 15. PMID: 21469739

Abstract Author(s):

Tzou-Chi Huang, Yu-Ling Chung, Mei-Li Wu, Show-Mei Chuang

Article Affiliation:

Department of Food Science, National Pingtung University of Science&Technology , Pingtung, Taiwan.


Cinnamaldehyde has been demonstrated to stimulate glutathione production and the expression of phase II detoxifying enzymes in HepG2 cells. The mechanism underlying this cinnamaldehyde-mediated gene expression relies on Nrf2 transcriptional activity. Therefore, the molecular signaling events in cinnamaldehyde-mediated detoxifying enzyme expression were further investigated in this study. Cinnamaldehyde activated ERK1/2, Akt, and JNK signaling pathways, but not the p38 MAP kinase pathway, subsequently leading to Nrf2 nuclear translocation and eventually increasing phase II enzyme expression. In contrast, inhibition of ERK1/2, Akt, or JNK pathways attenuated Nrf2 nuclear translocation and phase II enzyme expression. Depletion of Nrf2 by small RNA interference (si-RNA) showed that the protein levels of phase II enzymes were no longer induced by cinnamaldehyde. A luciferase reporter assay and an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) also demonstrated that cinnamaldehyde-activated signaling resulted in the increased transcriptional activity of Nrf2 through binding to the ARE4 enhancer sequence. Altogether, these data suggest that ERK1/2, Akt, and JNK pathways activated by cinnamaldehyde collectively control Nrf2 nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity, leading to the increase of phase II enzyme expression. Application of an appropriate chemopreventive agent such as cinnamaldehyde could potentially be an alternative strategy for cancer chemoprevention.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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