Butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity and GC-MS analysis of carica papaya leaves

Kooi Yeong Khaw, Nelson Jeng Yeou Chear, Sathiya Maran, Keng Yoon Yeong, Yong Sze Ong, Bey Hing Goh

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    Carica papaya is a medicinal and fruit plant owing biological activities including antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial and anticancer. The present study aims to investigate the acetyl (AChE) and butyryl (BChE) cholinesterase inhibitory potentials of C. papaya extracts as well as their chemical compositions. The chemical composition of the active extract was identified using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Ellman enzyme inhibition assay showed that the alkaloid-enriched leaf extract of C. papaya possessed significant anti-BChE activity with an enzyme inhibition of 75.9%. GC-MS analysis showed that the alkaloid extract composed mainly the carpaine (64.9%) – a major papaya alkaloid, and some minor constituents such as aliphatic hydrocarbons, terpenes and phenolics. Molecular docking of carpaine revealed that this molecule formed hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interactions with choline binding site and acyl pocket. This study provides some preliminary findings on the potential use of C. papaya leaf as an herbal supplement for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)165-170
    Number of pages6
    JournalNatural Product Sciences
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Alkaloid
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Carica papaya
    • Carpaine
    • Cholinesterase inhibitor
    • GC-MS

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