Polyphenolics extracted from yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria, Aquifoliaceae) (YH) leaves were investigated in human colon cells for their chemopreventive and anti-inflammatory activities. An activity-guided fractionation allowed the selection of YH flavonol-rich fraction due to its preferential inhibition of HT-29 colon cancer viability over the normal CCD-18Co colon cells. Quercetin and kaempferol 3-rutinosides, main components identified in this fraction, protected CCD-18Co cells against reactive oxidative species (ROS) in part due to increased activity of antioxidant enzymes. In addition, up-regulation of microRNA-146a (miR-146a) known as a negative regulator of pro-inflammatory NF-κB activation was the underlying molecular mechanism that protected CCD-18Co from inflammation.
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