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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 7359806, 7 pages
Research Article

Rosemary Extracts Upregulate Nrf2, Sestrin2, and MRP2 Protein Level in Human Hepatoma HepG2 Cells

1Department of Pharmacy, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan Province 410011, China
2Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha, Hunan Province 410208, China
3China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Miao Yan; moc.621@uscoaimnay and Xin-rong Fan; moc.621@3791rxf

Received 9 September 2016; Revised 28 November 2016; Accepted 12 January 2017; Published 13 February 2017

Academic Editor: Alaa Amash

Copyright © 2017 Xiao-pei Tong 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.


In the past few decades, the incidence of liver cancer has been rapidly rising across the world. Rosemary is known to possess antioxidant activity and is used as natural antioxidant food preservative. It is proposed to have anticancer activity in treating different tumor models. In this study, we try to explore the impact of rosemary extracts on upregulating the level of Nrf2 and Nrf2-regulatory proteins, Sestrin2 and MRP2 in HepG2 cells, and to speculate its potential mechanism. The anticancer activity of rosemary extract, including its polyphenolic diterpenes carnosic acid and carnosol, was evaluated to understand the potential effect on HepG2 cells. Rosemary extract, carnosic acid, and carnosol induced the expression of Sestrin2 and MRP2 associate with enhancement of Nrf2 protein level in HepG2 cells, in which carnosic acid showed most obvious effect. Although the activation pathway of Nrf2/ARE was not exactly assessed, it can be assumed that the enhancement of expression of Sestrin2 and MRP2 may result from upregulation of Nrf2.