Lotus seed skin proanthocyanidin extract exhibits potent antioxidant property via activation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway

Tao Li, Qili Li, Weiguo Wu, Yong Li, De Xing Hou, Hua Xu, Baodong Zheng, Shaoxiao Zeng, Yang Shan, Xiangyang Lu, Fangming Deng, Si Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Lotus seed is well known as traditional food and medicine, but its skin is usually discarded. Recent studies have shown that lotus seed skin contains a high concentration of proanthocyanidins that have multi-functions, such as antioxidation, anti-inflammation, and anti-cancer effects. In the present study, we aimed to isolate and purify the proanthocyanidins from lotus seed skin by acetone extraction and rotary evaporation, identify their chemical structures by HPLC-MS-MS and NMR, and further investigate the antioxidant properties of the extract purified by macroporous resin (PMR) from lotus seed skin both in vitro and in vivo. The results showed that PMR mainly contained oligomeric proanthocyanidins, especially dimeric procyanidin B1 (PB1), procyanidin B2 and procyanidin B4. Although it had limited ability to directly scavenge radicals in vitro, PMR could significantly enhance the expressions of antioxidant proteins via activation of nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway in HepG2 cells. Molecular data revealed that PB1, a major component in PMR, stabilized Nrf2 by inhibiting the ubiquitination of Nrf2, which led to subsequent activation of the Nrf2-ARE pathway, including the enhancements of Nrf2 nuclear translocation, Nrf2-ARE binding and ARE transcriptional activity. Moreover, the in vivo results in high fat diet-induced mice further verified the powerful antioxidant property of PMR. These results revealed that lotus seed skin is a promising resource for functional food development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalActa Biochimica et Biophysica Sinica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 17 2018


  • Nrf2-ARE pathway
  • antioxidant activity
  • lotus seed skin extract
  • proanthocyanidin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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