Papaya seed represents a rich source of biologically active isothiocyanate

Yoshimasa Nakamura, Motoko Yoshimoto, Yoshiyuki Murata, Yasuaki Shimoishi, Yumi Asai, Young Park Eun, Kenji Sato, Yasushi Nakamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, papaya (Carica papaya) seed and edible pulp were carefully separated and then the contents of benzyl isothiocyanate and the corresponding glucosinolate (benzyl glucosinolate, glucotropaeolin) quantified in each part. The papaya seed with myrosinase inactivation contained > 1 mmol of benzyl glucosinolate in 100 g of fresh seed. This content is equivalent to that of Karami daikon (the hottest Japanese white radish) or that of cress. The papaya seed extract also showed a very high activity of myrosinase and, without myrosinase inactivation, produced 460 μmol of benzyl isothiocyanate in 100 g of seed. In contrast, papaya pulp contained an undetectable amount of benzyl glucosinolate and showed no significant myrosinase activity. The n-hexane extract of the papaya seed homogenate was highly effective in inhibiting superoxide generation and apoptosis induction in HL-60 cells, the activities of which are comparable to those of authentic benzyl isothiocyanate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4407-4413
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - May 30 2007


  • Antioxidant
  • Apoptosis
  • Glucosinolate
  • HL-60
  • Isothiocyanate
  • Papaya

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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