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Antioxidant and antigenotoxic effects of plant cell wall hydroxycinnamic acids in cultured HT-29 cells.

We demonstrate that two hydroxycinnamic acids, (E )-ferulic acid and (E )-p-coumaric acid, have the ability to protect against oxidative stress and genotoxicity in cultured mammalian cells. They also show the ability to reduce the activity of the xenobiotic metabolising enzyme, cytochrome P450 1A, and downregulate the expression of the cyclooxygenase-2 enzyme. At equitoxic doses, their activities are equal to or superior to that of the known anticarcinogen, curcumin. The hydroxycinnamic acids are both important components of plant cell walls in certain plant foods. It is known that the action of microbial hydroxycinnamoyl esterases can lead to the release of hydroxycinnamic acids from ester-linkages to cell wall polysaccharides into the human colon. Thus, providing they can reach effective levels in the colon, they could provide an important mechanism by which dietary fibres of food plants, such as spinach or cereal, protect against colon cancer.

Pubmed ID: 15841493


  • Ferguson LR
  • Zhu ST
  • Harris PJ


Molecular nutrition & food research

Publication Data

June 6, 2005

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Cell Wall
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Curcumin
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System
  • DNA Damage
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Plants, Edible
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases