1-Acetoxyeugenol Acetate Isolated from Thai Ginger Induces Apoptosis in Human Ovarian Cancer Cells by ROS Production via NADPH Oxidase

Ju Yeon Choi, Na Kyung Lee, Yi Yue Wang, Joon Pyo Hong, So Ri Son, Da Hye Gu, Dae Sik Jang, Jung Hye Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rhizomes of Alpinia galanga (Thai ginger) have been used extensively as a spice in Southeast Asian and Arabian cuisines and reported to possess a wide range of biological properties, such as antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antibacterial. However, the specific molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the anti-tumor effects induced by Thai ginger and its corresponding active compounds have been poorly characterized. We found that upon EtOH extraction, Thai ginger extract exhibits cytotoxic activity (IC50 < 10 µg/mL) and triggers cell death via caspase-dependent apoptosis in human ovarian cancer cells. Among the three major compounds isolated from the extract, 1-acetoxyeugenol acetate (AEA) exhibited potent cytotoxic activity in human ovarian cancer cells, SKOV3 and A2780. AEA induced apoptotic cell death through the activation of caspases-3 and-9. Notably, AEA enhanced the intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and the application of an antioxidant markedly reversed AEA-induced apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells. The knockdown of p47phox, a subunit of NADPH oxidase, suppressed both the pro-apoptotic and ROS-inducing effects of AEA. Additionally, the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway by AEA through ROS regulation was found to be involved in AEA-induced apoptosis. Altogether, these results suggest that AEA exhibits potent apoptosis-inducing activity through the activation of the intrinsic pathway via ROS-mediated MAPK signaling in human ovarian cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number293
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • 1-acetoxyeugenol acetate
  • Alpinia galanga
  • Apoptosis
  • NADPH oxidase
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Reactive oxygen species


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