Potency of extracts from selected Egyptian plants as inducers of the Nrf2-dependent chemopreventive enzyme NQO1

Ahmed R. Hamed, Mohamed Elamir F Hegazy, Maureen Higgins, Tarik A. Mohamed, Nahla S. Abdel-Azim, Paul W. Pare, Albena T. Dinkova-Kostova

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Medicinal plants from the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula are widely used in traditional Bedouin medicine to treat a range of conditions including cancer, and as such are a promising resource for novel anti-cancer compounds. To achieve scientific justification of traditional use and/or to recommend the use of those plants as medicinal herbs for cancer chemoprevention, a group of 11 Sinai plants of different species that belong to 3 families (Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, and Euphorbiaceae) were biologically screened for cancer preventive activity using the chemoprevention marker enzyme NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). Among the fractions assayed, a solvent extract from Pulicaria incisa had potent NQO1 inducing activity. Further analysis of the mechanism of induction revealed the concentration-dependent stabilization of the transcription factor NF-E2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and a coordinate upregulation of the Nrf2-dependent enzymes NQO1, heme oxygenase 1 and glutathione S-transferase-Pi. These results establish P. incisa as a promising target for future phytochemical characterization for cancer preventive components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-688
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Natural Medicines
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Asteraceae
  • Chemoprevention
  • GST
  • HO-1
  • NQO1
  • Nrf2
  • Pulicaria incisa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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