Dietary ginger constituents, galanals A and B, are potent apoptosis inducers in Human T lymphoma Jurkat cells

Cancer Lett. 2003 Sep 25;199(2):113-9. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(03)00381-1.


The effects of the constituents isolated from ginger species including curcumin, 6-gingerol and labdane-type diterpene compounds on cell proliferation and the induction of apoptosis in the cultured human T lymphoma Jurkat cells were studied. Among the tested compounds, galanals A and B, isolated from the flower buds of a Japanese ginger, myoga (Zingiber mioga Roscoe), showed the most potent cytotoxic effect. Exposure of Jurkat human T-cell leukemia cells to galanals resulted in the induction of apoptotic cell death characterized by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activation. The mitochondrial damage pathway was suggested to be involved in galanal-induced apoptosis because the treatment of cells with galanals induced mitochondrial transmembrane potential (DeltaPsim) alteration and cytochrome c release. The anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein was downregulated by the galanal treatment together with enhancement of the Bax expression. In conclusion, the results from this study provide biological evidence that ginger-specific constituents other than curcuminoids are potential anticancer agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Catechols
  • Curcumin / pharmacology
  • Cytochromes c / metabolism
  • Diet*
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Fatty Alcohols / pharmacology
  • Ginger / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells / drug effects
  • Jurkat Cells / metabolism
  • Jurkat Cells / pathology
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Mutagens / pharmacology
  • Naphthalenes / pharmacology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Spiro Compounds / pharmacology
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein


  • BAX protein, human
  • Catechols
  • Diterpenes
  • Fatty Alcohols
  • Mutagens
  • Naphthalenes
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Spiro Compounds
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • galanal A
  • galanal B
  • 8,17-epoxylabd-12-ene-15,16-dial
  • Cytochromes c
  • gingerol
  • CASP3 protein, human
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases
  • Curcumin