The cancer preventive peptide lunasin from wheat inhibits core histone acetylation

Cancer Lett. 2007 Sep 18;255(1):42-8. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2007.03.022. Epub 2007 May 3.


Lunasin is a unique 43-amino acid cancer preventive peptide initially reported in soybean and barley and has been shown to be chemopreventive in mammalian cells and in a skin cancer mouse model against oncogenes and chemical carcinogens. We report here the core histone H3- and H-acetylation inhibitory properties of lunasin from wheat, a new source of the peptide and from the livers of rats fed with lunasin-enriched wheat (LEW) to measure bioavailability. A non-radioactive histone acetyl transferase assay was used to measure inhibition of core histone acetylation. The presence of lunasin in wheat was established by Western blot and identified by liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS). Lunasin isolated from wheat seeds at different stages of development inhibited core histone H3 and H4 acetylation in a dose-dependent manner. Lunasin extracted from liver of rats fed with lunasin-enriched wheat (LEW) also inhibited histone acetylation confirming that the peptide is intact and bioactive. The amounts of lunasin in the developing seeds and in the rat liver correlated extremely well with the extent of inhibition of core histone acetylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Soybean Proteins / chemistry
  • Soybean Proteins / physiology*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization
  • Triticum / metabolism*


  • GM2S-1 protein, soybean
  • Histones
  • Plant Extracts
  • Soybean Proteins