Isolation of caffeic acid from Perilla frutescens and its role in enhancing γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase activity and glutathione level

Ho Young Park, Mi Hyun Nam, Hyun Sun Lee, Woojin Jun, Suzanne Hendrich, Kwang Won Lee

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Perilla frutescens is an annual herbaceous plant native to Asia, where its leaves are used in Asian gourmet food. Our previous study showed that the inhibition of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS) activity was remarkably recovered by pretreatment with perilla leaf extract (PLE). The objective was to fractionise PLE, and to identify the active component that is responsible for the enhancement of γ-GCS activity and glutathione (GSH) concentration. Among the five fractions from PLE, PLE-III of the ethyl acetate fraction showed the highest γ-GCS activity in a HepG2 cell experiment, and was further chromatographed. The purified compound, which enhanced γ-GCS activity, was finally identified as caffeic acid. We first report the enhancement of γ-GCS activity and GSH level in HepG2 cells by caffeic acid obtained from PLE. Our results suggest that caffeic acid may be a key factor in the chemopreventive potential of perilla leaf components by increasing de novo synthesis of GSH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-730
Number of pages7
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar 15



  • Caffeic acid
  • Glutathione
  • HepG2 cells
  • Perilla frutescens
  • γ-Glutamylcysteine synthetase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Food Science

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