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J Biochem. 2016 Sep;160(3):163-76. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvw023. Epub 2016 Mar 22.

Mugineic acid, active ingredient of wheat grass: an oral novel hexadentate iron chelator in iron overloaded diseases.

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Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute, Park Street, West Bengal 700016, India.
Presidency University, College Street, Kolkata, West Bengal 700073, India.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute, Park Street, West Bengal 700016, India


Iron chelation therapies are required for the treatment of iron overloaded patients; nonetheless, their side effects are also well known. We have evaluated iron-chelating activity of wheat grass extract (WHE) and its purified compound, mugineic acid in murine model with phenylhydrazine (PHZ) and dextran induced acute and chronic iron overload conditions. PHZ and dextran treatment induced acute and chronic iron overload condition in mice, respectively, as indicated by increased serum and tissue iron in both cases. Iron overload was also accompanied with haemosiderosis in tissues (liver and spleen). These PHZ and dextran -: treated mice were orally treated with either crude WHE or purified mugineic acid. The efficacy of mugineic acid and WHE was compared with the potent oral iron chelator ICL670 (Exjade). PHZ and dextran treatment followed by oral administration of WHE or mugineic acid significantly checked the rise of serum/plasma levels of iron as well as tissue iron and also, haemosiderosis in tissues. The results are highly comparable with known iron chelator ICL670. WHE and purified mugineic acid, both seem to have significant prospect to be the cheap, non-toxic, hexadentate and oral therapeutic agents to prevent or alleviate toxic iron overload in patients.


Hexadentate iron chelaor/tetradentate iron chelator; ICL670 (Exjade); mugineic acid/iron overload; oral chelator; wheat grass extract

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