Phytochem Anal 2016 Sep;27(5):233-8
Medicinal Chemistry and Natural Products Research Group, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, James Parsons Building, Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF, UK.
Introduction: Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like factor 2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that regulates expression of many detoxification enzymes. Nrf2-antioxidant responsive element (Nrf2-ARE) signalling pathway can be a target for cancer chemoprevention. Glycyrrhiza glabra, common name, 'liquorice', is used as a sweetening and flavouring agent, and traditionally, to treat various ailments, and implicated to chemoprevention. However, its chemopreventive property has not yet been scientifically substantiated.
Objective: To assess the ability of liquorice root samples to induce Nrf2 activation correlating to their potential chemopreventive property.
Methods: The ability of nine methanolic extracts of liquorice root samples, collected from various geographical origins, to induce Nrf2 activation was determined by the luciferase reporter assay using the ARE-reporter cell line, AREc32. The antioxidant properties were determined by the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryhydrazyl (DPPH) and the ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays.
Results: All extracts exhibited free-radical-scavenging property (RC50 = 136.39-635.66 µg/mL). The reducing capacity of ferrous ion was 214.46-465.59 μM Fe(II)/g. Nrf2 activation indicated that all extracts induced expression of ARE-driven luciferase activity with a maximum induction of 2.3 fold relative to control. These activities varied for samples from one geographical location to another.
Conclusions: The present findings add to the existing knowledge of cancer chemoprevention by plant-derived extracts or purified phytochemicals, particularly the potential use of liquorice for this purpose. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.