Antimutagenic constituents of Adlay (Coix lachryma-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) with potential cancer chemopreventive activity

Huang Hui Chen, Wenchang Chiang, Jang Yang Chang, Ya Lin Chien, Ching Kuo Lee, Ko Jiunn Liu, Yen Ting Cheng, Ting Fang Chen, Yueh Hsiung Kuo, Ching Chuan Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Adlay has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine and as a nourishing food. The acetone extract of adlay hull had previously been demonstrated to possess potent antimutagenic activity. The aims of this study were to identify the antimutagenic constituents from adlay hull by using Ames antimutagenic activity-guide isolation procedures and to investigate their chemopreventive efficacies in cultured cells. The results demonstrated that six compounds showing great antimutagenic activity were identified by spectroscopic methods and by comparison with authentic samples to be p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, vanillin, syringaldehyde, trans-coniferylaldehyde, sinapaldehyde, and coixol. Two of them, trans-coniferylaldehyde and sinapaldehyde, exhibit relatively potent scavenging of DPPH radicals, inhibit TPA stimulated superoxide anion generation in neutrophil-like leukocytes, and induce Nrf2/ARE-driven luciferase activity in HSC-3 cells. Moreover, trans-coniferylaldehyde possesses cytoprotective efficacy against tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced DNA double-strand breaks in cultured cells, and the chemopreventive potency induced by trans-coniferylaldehyde may be through the activation of kinase signals, including p38, ERK1/2, JNK, MEK1/2, and MSK1/2. In summary, we first identified six antimutagenic constituents from adlay hull. Among them, trans- coniferylaldehyde would be a highly promising agent for cancer chemoprevention and merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6444-6452
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 22 2011


  • ARE
  • adlay
  • antimutagenic constituents
  • cancer chemoprevention
  • kinase signal
  • traditional Chinese medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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