JAK2 and AMP-kinase inhibition in vitro by food extracts, fractions and purified phytochemicals
We have identified a range of food phytochemicals that inhibit Janus Kinase 2 (JAK2) and Adenosine Monophosphate Kinase (AMPK). A mutated and dysregulated form of JAK2, a tyrosine kinase, is associated with several diseases including Crohn's disease. Using an in vitro, time-resolved fluorescence (TR-FRET) assay, we tested 49 different types of food extracts, plus 10 concentrated fractions of increasing hydrophobicity from each extract, to find foods containing JAK2 inhibitors. The food extracts tested included grains, meat, fish, shellfish, dairy products, herbs, mushrooms, hops, fruits and vegetables. Several fruits were potent inhibitors of JAK2: blackberry, boysenberry, feijoa, pomegranate, rosehip and strawberry, which all contain ellagitannins, known inhibitors of kinases. These fruits are in the Rosales and Myrtales plant orders. No other foods gave >1% of the maximal JAK2 inhibitory activities of these fruits. AMPK, a sensor and regulator of energy metabolism in cells, is a serine-threonine kinase which is reported to be activated by various flavonoid phytochemicals. Using a TR-FRET assay, we tested various fruit extracts for AMPK activation and inhibition. Ellagitannin containing foods scored highly as AMPK inhibitors. Despite several reports of AMPK activation in whole cells by phytochemicals, no extracts or pure compounds activated AMPK in our assay.