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Characterization of thiol-conjugated metabolites of ginger components shogaols in mouse and human urine and modulation of the glutathione levels in cancer cells by [6]-shogaol

Authors

  • Huadong Chen,

    1. Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis, NC, USA
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  • Dominique N. Soroka,

    1. Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis, NC, USA
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  • Yuhui Hu,

    1. Cancer Research Program, Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, USA
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  • Xiaoxin Chen,

    1. Cancer Research Program, Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, USA
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  • Shengmin Sang

    Corresponding author
    • Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis, NC, USA
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Correspondence: Professor Shengmin Sang, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Research Campus, 500 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA

E-mail: ssang@ncat.edu

Fax: +1-704-250-5709

Abstract

Scope

Shogaols, a series of major constituents in dried ginger with the most abundant being [6]-, [8]-, and [10]-shogaols, show much higher anticancer potencies than gingerols. Previously, we reported the mercapturic acid pathway as a major metabolic route for [6]-shogaol in mice. However, it is still unclear how the side chain length affects the metabolism of shogaols and how shogaols are metabolized in humans.

Methods and results

We first investigate the metabolism of [10]-shogaol in mouse urine, and then investigate the biotransformation of shogaols in human urine. Our results show that eight major thiol-conjugated metabolites of [10]-shogaol were detected in mouse urine, while six major thiol-conjugated metabolites of [6]-shogaol, two thiol-conjugated metabolites of [8]-shogaol, and two thiol-conjugated metabolites of [10]-shogaol were detected in urine collected from human after drinking ginger tea, using LC/ESI-MS/MS. Our results clearly indicate the mercapturic acid pathway is a major metabolic route for [10]-shogaol in mice and for shogaols in human. Furthermore, we also investigated the regulation of glutathione (GSH) by [6]-shogaol in human colon cancer cells HCT-116. Our results show [6]-shogaol, after initially depleting glutathione levels, can subsequently restore and increase GSH levels over time.

Conclusion

Shogaols are metabolized extensively in mouse and human to form thiol-conjugated metabolites and GSH might play an important role in the cancer-preventive activity of ginger.

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