Extract of the Japanese apricot (JAE) has biological properties as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. We hypothesized that JAE might exert therapeutic effects on cigarette smoke (CS)-induced DNA damage and cytotoxicity. In this study, we found that concentrated JAE protects against cigarette smoke extract (CSE)-induced cytotoxicity and DNA damage accompanied by increased levels of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)2, 3A1, and Werner’s syndrome protein (WRN) in immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells (HBEC2) and normal human epidermal keratinocytes (NHEK). Using the centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) method, we identified an undescribed compound, 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde bis(5-formylfurfuryl) acetal (which we named FA-1), responsible for the protective effects against CSE. This chemical structure has not been reported from a natural source to date. Protective effects of isolated FA-1 against CSE were observed in both HBEC2 and NHEK cells. The studies described herein suggest that FA-1 isolated from JAE protects against CSE-induced DNA damage and apoptosis by augmenting multiple isozymes of ALDH and DNA repair and reducing oxidative stress.
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