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Potent Antioxidant and Genoprotective Effects of Boeravinone G, a Rotenoid Isolated from Boerhaavia diffusa

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019628
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Cellular Stress Responses
  • Medicine
  • Complementary And Alternative Medicine
  • Drugs And Devices
  • Drug Research And Development
  • Drug Discovery
  • Gastroenterology And Hepatology
  • Colon
  • Gastrointestinal Cancers
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Background and Aims Free radicals are implicated in the aetiology of some gastrointestinal disorders such as gastric ulcer, colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. In the present study we investigated the antioxidant and genoprotective activity of some rotenoids (i.e. boeravinones) isolated from the roots of Boerhaavia diffusa, a plant used in the Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Methods/Principal Findings Antioxidant activity has been evaluated using both chemical (Electron Spin Resonance spectroscopy, ESR) and Caco-2 cells-based (TBARS and ROS) assays. DNA damage was evaluated by Comet assay, while pERK1/2 and phospho-NF-kB p65 levels were estimated by western blot. Boeravinones G, D and H significantly reduced the signal intensity of ESR induced by hydroxyl radicals, suggesting a scavenging activity. Among rotenoids tested, boeravinone G exerted the most potent effect. Boeravinone G inhibited both TBARS and ROS formation induced by Fenton's reagent, increased SOD activity and reduced H2O2-induced DNA damage. Finally, boeravinone G reduced the levels of pERK1 and phospho-NF-kB p65 (but not of pERK2) increased by Fenton's reagent. Conclusions It is concluded that boeravinone G exhibits an extraordinary potent antioxidant activity (significant effect in the nanomolar range). The MAP kinase and NF-kB pathways seem to be involved in the antioxidant effect of boeravinone G. Boeravinone G might be considered as lead compound for the development of drugs potentially useful against those pathologies whose aetiology is related to ROS-mediated injuries.

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