Dehydrozingerone, a structural analogue of curcumin, induces cell-cycle arrest at the G2/M phase and accumulates intracellular ROS in HT-29 human colon cancer cells

J Nat Prod. 2012 Dec 28;75(12):2088-93. doi: 10.1021/np300465f. Epub 2012 Dec 17.


Dehydrozingerone (1) is a pungent constituent present in the rhizomes of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and belongs structurally to the vanillyl ketone class. It is a representative of half the chemical structure of curcumin (2), which is an antioxidative yellow pigment obtained from the rhizomes of turmeric (Curcuma longa). Numerous studies have suggested that 2 is a promising phytochemical for the inhibition of malignant tumors, including colon cancer. On the other hand, there have been few studies on the potential antineoplastic properties of 1, and its mode of action based on a molecular mechanism is little known. Therefore, the antiproliferative effects of 1 were evaluated against HT-29 human colon cancer cells, and it was found that 1 dose-dependently inhibited growth at the G2/M phase with up-regulation of p21. Dehydrozingerone additionally led to the accumulation of intracellular ROS, although most radical scavengers could not clearly repress the cell-cycle arrest at the G2/M phase. Furthermore, two synthetic isomers of 1 (iso-dehydrozingerone, 3, and ortho-dehydrozingerone, 4) were also examined. On comparing of their activities, accumulation of intracellular ROS was found to be interrelated with growth-inhibitory effects. These results suggest that analogues of 1 may be potential chemotherapeutic agents for colon cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic* / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic* / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic* / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Colonic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Curcuma / metabolism
  • Curcumin* / analogs & derivatives
  • Curcumin* / chemistry
  • Curcumin* / isolation & purification
  • Curcumin* / pharmacology
  • G2 Phase / drug effects
  • HT29 Cells
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / analysis
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Styrenes* / chemistry
  • Styrenes* / isolation & purification
  • Styrenes* / pharmacology
  • Zingiberaceae / chemistry*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Styrenes
  • methyl-3-methoxy-4-hydroxystyryl ketone
  • Curcumin