Researchers Reveal Potential Anti-aging Components of Moringa oleifera Leaf

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Moringa oleifera Lam., also known as Miracle Tree, is primitively derived from India, now widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions. Previous studies have showed that M. oleifera has anti-aging effects, but there is still a lack of in-depth research on the specific active ingredients and mechanisms of its anti-aging activity. Therefore, it is of great necessity to screen out the most effective active components of M. oleifera leaves.

Supervised by Prof. GUO Mingquan from the Wuhan Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, XU Yongbing conducted in vitro elastase and collagenase enzyme inhibitory assays to evaluate the activities of M. oleifera leaf extracts.

He found that M. oleifera leaf extracts possessed promising anti-elastase and anti-collagenase activities. Then, ten, eight, and 14 potential bioactive phytochemicals were screened out from M. oleifera leaf extracts against elastase, collagenase and hyaluronidase using the multi-target bio-affinity ultrafiltration coupled to high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (AUF-HPLC-MS), respectively.

In addition, further verification of representative active components was employed by molecular docking analysis. Results showed that these potentially active compounds could form hydrogen bonds with amino acid residues Asn112, Trp115, Glu141, Glu164, and Asp221 of elastase, Arg214, Val215, Glu219, and Pro238 of collagenase, Arg47, Asp56, Gly58, Asp111, Glu113, and Ser304 of hyaluronidase, respectively. These hydrogen bonds enhanced the binding ability of active small molecules to biological target molecules.

This is the first study to comprehensively demonstrate M. oleifera leaves possess the significant elastase and collagenase inhibitory activities in vitro, and reveal its potential bioactive components as well as the mechanism of anti-aging activity.

Meanwhile, it provides a theoretical basis for its further development into functional anti-aging products in the cosmetics and cosmeceutical industries combating aging and skin wrinkling.

The relevant results have been published in Frontiers in Nutrition entitled “Potential Anti-aging Components from Moringa oleifera Leaves Explored by Affinity Ultrafiltration with Multiple Drug Targets.”

This study was financially supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province.

Network diagram of multicomponent and multi-target interactions of Moringa oleifera leaves. (Image by WBG)

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