1-methylmalate from camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) suppressed D-galactosamine-induced liver injury in rats

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2010;74(3):573-8. doi: 10.1271/bbb.90775. Epub 2010 Mar 7.


To evaluate the protective effects of fruit juices against D-galactosamine (GalN)-induced liver injury, lyophilized fruit juices (total 12 kinds) were fed to rats for 7 d, and then we evoked liver injury by injecting GalN. The juice of camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) significantly suppressed GalN-induced liver injury when the magnitude of liver injury was assessed by plasma alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities, although some other juices (acerola, dragon fruit, shekwasha, and star fruit) also tended to have suppressive effects. An active compound was isolated from camu-camu juice by solvent fractionation and silica gel column chromatography. The structure was determined to be 1-methylmalate. On the other hand, malate, 1,4-dimethylmalate, citrate, and tartrate had no significant effect on GalN-induced liver injury. It is suggested that 1-methylmalate might be a rather specific compound among organic acids and their derivatives in fruit juices in suppressing GalN-induced liver injury.

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Animals
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Beverages*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control*
  • Citric Acid / isolation & purification
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Galactosamine / toxicity
  • Malates / isolation & purification
  • Malates / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Myrtaceae / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Tartrates / isolation & purification


  • Malates
  • Tartrates
  • Citric Acid
  • Galactosamine
  • malic acid
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • citramalate
  • tartaric acid