Ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid, isolated from the roots of Aralia continentalis, induces activation of Nrf2

Ji Hyo Lyu, Geum San Lee, Kyun Ha Kim, Hyung Woo Kim, Su In Cho, Seung Il Jeong, Hong Jun Kim, Young Seung Ju, Ho Kyoung Kim, Ruxana T. Sadikot, John W. Christman, Sei Ryang Oh, Hyeong Kyu Lee, Kyung Seop Ahn, Myungsoo Joo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Excessive inflammation can lead to tissue damage and dysfunction of vital organs. Hence, regulating inflammatory response is a viable therapeutic approach. In Asian countries, various inflammatory diseases have often effectively been treated with herbal remedies including the root extract of Aralia continentalis Kitagawa (Araliaceae). Here, we investigated the effect of kaurenoic acid (ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid: KA), a diterpenoid that is extracted from Aralia continentalis Kitagawa root, on inflammation. Materials, methods, and results: Western blot and RT-PCR analyses show that KA induced the nuclear localization of Nrf2 as low as 1 nM in concentration and that KA treatment induced the expression of Nrf2 dependent genes such as GCLC and HO-1. On the other hand, KA did not affect the degradation of cytoplasmic IκB-α, the nuclear localization of RelA (p65), and NF-κB transcriptional activity in RAW264.7 cells treated with endotoxin. Consistent with these data, KA treatment failed to suppress gene expression of representative pro-inflammatory mediators including COX-2, nitric oxide, IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-12, indicating that KA did not have an important impact on NF-κB activation. Conclusion: Together, these results show that KA was an effective activator of Nrf2, and suggest that the beneficial effects of Aralia continentalis Kitagawa root extract are, at least in part, mediated by activating Nrf2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1442-1449
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 11 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-inflammation
  • Herbal treatment
  • Inflammation
  • Kaurenoic acid
  • Nrf2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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