Influence of ripening stages on phytochemical composition and bioavailability of ginseng berry (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer)
The presence of large amounts of bioactive compounds such as saponins and flavonoids in ginseng (Panax ginseng) berry suggests its potential as a functional resource for the food and medical industries, despite the fact that been considered a useless by-products of P. ginseng. In this study, we examined the variations in the antioxidant and anti-melanogenic potential of ginseng berry during the ripening process. We found that fully ripe berry extracts (Go-S3) contained the highest level of antioxidant and anti-melanogenic activities. Phytochemical screening suggested that alterations in polyphenol contents correlated with the variation in bioactive principles of ginseng berry during the ripening process. Furthermore, results obtained by quantitative real-time PCR, western blot, tyrosinase inhibition assay and molecular docking analysis suggested that Go-S3 probably inhibits tyrosinase activity by interacting with copper-coordinating histidines and second shell residues of tyrosinase, resulting in the reduction of melanin production in α-MSH-stimulated B16F10 cells. Taken together, these finding suggest the potential of ginseng berry as a resource for functional applications in the cosmetic industries and demonstrate that fruit ripening stages have profound effects on the pharmaceutical value of ginseng berry.
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