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Anti-proliferation activities of three bioactive components purified by high-speed counter-current chromatography in essential oil from ginger

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Three bioactive components (6-gingerol, zingerone and sesquiterpenes) in essential oil from ginger were successfully separated and purified by high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC), and their proliferation inhibition on cancer cells was further investigated. The HSCCC was performed using n-hexane–ethyl acetate–methanol–water (7:3:5:5, v/v), n-hexane–methanol–water (3:2:1, v/v), and n-hexane–chloroform–acetonitrile (6:2:5, v/v) in 600 μl samples severally, yielding 35 mg 6-gingerol, 23 mg zingerone, and 105 mg sesquiterpenes with the purities of 98.6%, 99.4%, and 99.2% determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Their relative contents reached 84.07%, 94.67%, and 95.17%. MTT results showed that the three compounds caused cytotoxicity on the A549, HepG2 and MDA-MB-231 cells and 6-gingerol had the strongest anti-proliferation activity. Moreover, Hoechst 33342/PI staining confirmed that 6-gingerol could induce A549 cells to exhibit some typical features of apoptosis and Annexin V-FITC/PI verified that the cells induced by 6-gingerol underwent apoptosis rather than necrosis during this process. The HSCCC could be used to prepare bioactive substance with anti-tumor activities.

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The project was supported by Hebei Province and School Science and Technology Cooperation Development Fund Project and The Project Program of Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, Ministry of Education, China (no. 2018006).

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Correspondence to Li-xia Wang.

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Wang, C., Wang, L., Li, C. et al. Anti-proliferation activities of three bioactive components purified by high-speed counter-current chromatography in essential oil from ginger. Eur Food Res Technol (2020).

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  • Essential oil from ginger
  • High-speed counter-current chromatography
  • Bioactive component
  • Cells proliferation inhibition
  • Apoptosis