Senkyunolides reduce hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative damage in human liver HepG2 cells via induction of heme oxygenase-1

Hongyi Qi, Shiu On Siu, Yan Chen, Yifan Han, Ivan K. Chu, Yao Tong, Allan S.Y. Lau, Jianhui Rong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Rhizoma Chuanxiong is widely used as folk medicine to treat the diseases caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. To delineate the underlying molecular mechanisms, we recently found that Rhizoma Chuanxiong extract significantly induced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an enzyme that degrades intracellular heme into three bioactive products: biliverdin, carbon monoxide and free iron. The anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic and antiproliferative actions of these products highlight HO-1 as a key endogenous antioxidant and cytoprotective gene. This study was designed to further characterize HO-1 induction of Rhizoma Chuanxiong through bioactivity-guided fractionation. All isolated fractions were assayed for HO-1 induction in human HepG2 cell line at mRNA and protein levels. Based on chromatographic profiling, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometric analysis, the active compounds were identified as senkyunolide-H and its stereoisomer senkyunolide-I. Both senkyunolide isomers inhibited the formation of reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation and enhanced the cellular resistance to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative damage. Notably, heme oxygenase inhibitor tin protoporphyrin IX (SnPP) significantly suppressed the antioxidant activity of senkyunolide stereoisomers. Thus, this study demonstrated that senkyunolide-H and -I attenuated oxidative damage via activation of HO-1 pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-389
Number of pages10
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2010


  • Antioxidation
  • Bioactivity-guided fractionation
  • Cytoprotection
  • Heme oxygenase 1
  • Rhizoma Chuanxiong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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