Modulation of CAT-2B-Mediated l-Arginine Uptake and Nitric Oxide Biosynthesis in HCT116 Cell Line Through Biological Activity of 4'-Geranyloxyferulic Acid Extract from Quinoa Seeds

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jul 2;20(13):3262. doi: 10.3390/ijms20133262.


Chenopodium quinoa Wild is a "pseudocereal" grain which attracts a lot of attention in the scientific community as it has a positive effect on health. Here, we investigate the presence of biologically active O-prenylated phenylpropanoids in the ethanol extract of commercially available quinoa seeds. We claim that 4'-Geranyloxyferulic acid (GOFA) was the only phytochemical product found that belongs to quinoa's group secondary metabolites. We studied the changes in the oxidative and inflammatory status of the cellular environment in HCT 116 cell line processed with quinoa extract and its component GOFA; the implementation was done through the analysis of the antioxidant enzymes (SOD and CAT), the pro-inflammatory components (iNOS, IL-6 and TNF-α), and the products of intermediary metabolism (ONOO-, O2-). Moreover, the l-arginine uptake was proposed as a target of the tested compounds. We demonstrated that the GOFA, through a decrease of the CAT-2B expression, leads to a reduction of the l-arginine uptake, downregulating the harmful iNOS and restoring the altered redox state. These results propose a new molecular target involved in the reduction of the critical inflammatory process responsible for the cancer progression.

Keywords: CAT-2B; IL-6; TNF-α; inflammation; l-arginine; nitric oxide; oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / chemistry
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Arginine / metabolism*
  • Cationic Amino Acid Transporter 2 / metabolism*
  • Chenopodium quinoa / chemistry
  • Coumaric Acids / chemistry
  • Coumaric Acids / pharmacology*
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Seeds / chemistry


  • 4'-geranyloxyferulic acid
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Cationic Amino Acid Transporter 2
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Arginine