Gintonin, an exogenous ginseng-derived LPA receptor ligand, promotes corneal wound healing
Ginseng, the root of Panax ginseng, is one of the oldest herbal medicines. It has a variety of physiological and pharmacological effects. Recently, we isolated a subset of glycolipoproteins that we designated gintonin, and demonstrated that it induced transient change in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) in cells via G-protein-coupled receptor signaling pathway(s). The previous method for gintonin isolation included multiple steps using methanol, butanol, and other organic solvents. In the present study, we developed a much simple method for the preparation of gintonin from ginseng root using 80% ethanol extraction. The extracted fraction was designated edible gintonin. This method produced a high yield of gintonin (0.20%). The chemical characteristics of gintonin such as molecular weight and the composition of the extract product were almost identical as the gintonin prepared using the previous extraction regimen involving various organic solvents. We also examined the physiological effects of edible gintonin on endogenous Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channel activity of Xenopus oocytes. The 50% effective dose was 1.03±0.3 μg/mL. Finally, since gintonin preparation through ethanol extraction is easily reproducible, gintonin could be commercially applied for ginseng-derived functional health food and/or drug following the confirmations of in vitro and in vivo physiological and pharmacological effects of gintonin.