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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 452621, 7 pages
Research Article

Protective Effects of Emodin and Chrysophanol Isolated from Marine Fungus Aspergillus sp. on Ethanol-Induced Toxicity in HepG2/CYP2E1 Cells

1Department of Marine Life Science and Marine Life Research and Education Center, Chosun University, Gwangju 501-759, Republic of Korea
2Department of Chemistry, Pukyong National University, Busan 608-737, Republic of Korea
3Key Laboratory of Molecular Enzymology and Enzyme Engineering of Ministry Education, College of Life Science, Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
4School of Food Technology and Nutrition, Chonnam National University, Yeosu 550-749, Republic of Korea

Received 14 January 2011; Revised 31 March 2011; Accepted 3 June 2011

Copyright © 2011 Zhong-Ji Qian et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Alcohol-induced liver injury progresses from fatty infiltration followed by a harmful cause of inflammation leading to an irreversible damage. In this study, two compounds (emodin and chrysophanol) isolated from marine fungus Aspergillus sp. were examined for their protective effects against ethanol-induced toxicity in vitro. Ethanol-induced HepG2/CYP2E1 cells were treated with the compounds at various concentrations, and the results showed that there was a dose-dependent decrease of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) activity and increase of glutathione (GSH) in the culture media with an increase in cell viability. Furthermore, the protective effects of the compounds were evaluated by protein expression levels of GGT, GSH, and CYP2E1 using Western blot. Among the compounds, emodin addressed to the ethanol-induced cytotoxicity more effectively compared to the chrysophanol. It could be suggested that emodin isolated from this genus would be a potential candidate for attenuating ethanol induced liver damage for further industrial applications such as functional food and pharmaceutical developments.