Adenosine 5′-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is an intracellular sensor that can regulate glucose levels within the cell. For this reason, it is well-known to be a target for drugs against diabetes and obesity. AMPK was activated significantly by the hexane extract of barley sprouts. This AMPK activation emerges across the growth stages of the sprout, becoming most significant (3 times above the initial stages) 10 days after sprouting. After this time, the activation decreased between 13 and 20 days post-sprouting. Analysis of the hexane extracts by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that the amounts of policosanols (PCs, which are linear, primary aliphatic alcohols with 20-30 carbons) in the plant dramatically increased between 5 days (109.7 mg/100 g) and 10 days (343.7 mg/100 g) post-sprouting and then levels fell back down, reaching 76.4 mg/100 g at 20 days post-sprouting. This trend is consistent with PCs being the active ingredient in the barley plants. We validate this by showing that hexacosanol is an activator of AMPK. The richest cultivar for PCs was found to be the Daejin cultivar. Cultivars had a significant effect on the total PC content (113.2-183.5 mg/100 g) within the plant up to 5 days post-sprouting. However this dependence upon the cultivar was not so apparent at peak stages of PC production (10 days post-sprouting). The most abundant PC in barley sprout, hexacosanol, contributed 62-80% of the total PC content at every stage. These results are valuable to determine the optimal times of harvest to obtain the highest yield of PCs.
- barley sprout
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)