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J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Feb;16(2):121-8.

Effects of DNA polymerase inhibitory and antitumor activities of lipase-hydrolyzed glycolipid fractions from spinach.

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Laboratory of Food & Nutritional Sciences, Department of Nutritional Science, Kobe-Gakuin University, Nishi-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 651-2180, Japan.


We succeeded in purifying the major glycolipid fraction in the class of sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol, monogalactosyl diacylglycerol and digalactosyl diacylglycerol (DGDG) from a green vegetable, spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). This glycolipid fraction was an inhibitor of DNA polymerases and a growth inhibitor of NUGC-3 human gastric cancer cells, and, interestingly, the activities were much stronger when the fraction was hydrolyzed by lipase. Glycolipids in the hydrolyzed fraction consisted of sulfoquinovosyl monoacylglycerol (SQMG), monogalactosyl monoacylglycerol (MGMG) and DGDG. In the in vivo antitumor assay using Greene's melanoma, the fraction containing SQMG, MGMG and DGDG showed to be a promising suppressor of solid tumors. Spinach glycolipid fraction might be a potent antitumor compound if directly injected into a tumor-carrying body, and this fraction may be a healthy food material that has antitumor activity.

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