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DNA damage by Withanone as a potential cause of liver toxicity observed for herbal products of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)
S. Siddiqui, N. Ahmed, M. Goswami, , G. Chowdhury
Published in Elsevier B.V.
Volume: 2
Pages: 72 - 81
Withania somnifera, commonly known as Ashwagandha, is a medicinal plant used for thousands of years for various remedies. Extracts of Ashwagandha contain more than 200 metabolites, with withanone (win) being one of the major ones responsible for many of its medicinal properties. Recently, several cases of liver toxicity resulting from commercially available Ashwagandha products have been reported. The first report of Ashwagandha-related liver damage was from Japan, which was quickly resolved after drug-withdrawal. Later, similar cases of liver toxicity due to Ashwagandha consumption were reported from the USA and Iceland. Towards understanding the liver toxicity of Ashwagandha extracts, we studied win, a representative withanolide having toxicophores or structural alerts that are commonly associated with adverse drug reactions. We found that win can form non-labile adducts with the nucleosides dG, dA, and dC. Using various biochemical assays, we showed that win forms adducts in DNA and interfere with its biological property. Win also forms adducts with amines and this process is reversible. Based on the data presented here we concluded that win is detoxified by GSH but under limiting GSH levels it can cause DNA damage. The work presented here provides a potential mechanism for the reported Ashwagandha-mediated liver damage. © 2021 The Author(s)
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Published in Elsevier B.V.
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