Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Cells. 2001 Apr 30;11(2):137-43.

Inhibitory effect of ursolic acid purified from Origanum majorana L on the acetylcholinesterase.

Author information

Graduate School of Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul.


We screened 139 herbal spices in search of the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor from natural resources. AChE inhibitors, which enhance cholinergic transmission by reducing the enzymatic degradation of acetylcholine, are the only source of compound currently approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Among these herbs, edible plants and spices, the ethanol extract from Origanum majorana L. showed the highest inhibitory effect on AChE in vitro. By sequential fractionation of Origanum majorana L. the active component was finally identified as ursolic acid (3 beta-Hydroxyurs-12-en-28-oic acid). The ursolic acid of Origanum majorana L. inhibited AChE activity in a dose-dependent and competitive/non-competitive type. The Ki value (representing the affinity of the enzyme and inhibitor) of Origanum majorana L. ursolic acid was 6 pM, and that of tacrine was 0.4 nM. The concentration required for 50% enzyme inhibition of the active component (IC50 value) was 7.5 nM, and that of tacrine was 1 nM. This study demonstrated that the ursolic acid of Origanum majorana L. appeared to be a potent AChE inhibitor in Alzheimer's Disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Publishing M2Community
Loading ...
Support Center