Lunasin is prevalent in barley and is bioavailable and bioactive in in vivo and in vitro studies

Hyung Jin Jeong, Jin Boo Jeong, Chia Chien Hsieh, Blanca Hernández-Ledesma, Ben O. De Lumen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Lunasin, a unique 43-amino acid peptide found in a number of seeds, has been shown to be chemopreventive in mammalian cells and in a skin cancer mouse model. To elucidate the role of cereals in cancer prevention, we report here the prevalence, bioavailability, and bioactivity of lunasin from barley. Lunasin is present in all cultivars of barley analyzed. The liver and kidney of rats fed with lunasin-enriched barley (LEB) show the presence of lunasin in Western blot. Lunasin extracted from the kidney and liver inhibits the activities of HATs (histone acetyl transferases), yGCN5 by 20% and 18% at 100 nM, and PCAF activity by 25% and 24% at 100 nM, confirming that the peptide is intact and bioactive. Purified barley lunasin localizes in the nuclei of NIH 3T3 cells. Barley lunasin added to NIH 3T3 cells in the presence of the chemical carcinogen MCA activates the expression of tumor suppressors p21 and p15 by 45% and 47%, decreases cyclin D1 by 98%, and inhibits Rb hyperphosphorylation by 45% compared with the MCA treatment alone. We conclude that lunasin is prevalent in barley, bioavailable, and bioactive and that consumption of barley could play an important role of cancer prevention in barley-consuming populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1119
Number of pages7
JournalNutrition and Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cancer Research


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