Letter to the editor

Chlorogenic acid and its role in biological functions: an up to date

Jae Kwang Kim1, Sang Un Park2[*]

1Division of Life Sciences and Convergence Research Center for Insect Vectors, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Korea

2Department of Crop Science, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34134, Korea

EXCLI J 2019;18:Doc310


Dear Editor,

Chlorogenic acid (CGA; (IS,3R,4R.5R)-3-{[(2Z)-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)prop-2-enoyl]oxy}-1,4,5-trihydroxycyclohexanecarboxylic acid) is an ester formed from caffeic acid and quinic acid and works as an intermediate in lignin biosynthesis (Abrankó and Clifford, 2017[1]). CGA, one of the most abundant polyphenol compounds in the human diet, consists of a group of phenolic secondary metabolites isolated from the leaves and fruits of dicotyledonous plants, which is an important component of coffee. CGA has the capacity to manipulate the taste of coffee by modifying astringent, sweet, and sour tastes, which change with the concentration (Tajik et al., 2017[33]).

CGAs are biosynthetically derived from phenylalanine following the phenylpropanoid reaction pathway, which is responsible for the synthesis of several important compounds, like flavonoids, isoflavonoid phytoalexins, coumarins, and lignin (Clifford et al., 2017[6]). There are three possible pathways projected from the p-coumaroyl CoA. Each pathway engages with the same types of enzymatic reactions, such as esterification and hydroxylation (Zhao et al., 2018[49]). These compounds protect plant tissues from damage by oxidative stress, pathogen infection, and wounds. They are also used to mediate animal health (Telles et al., 2017[35]). CGA has a broader range of potential biological properties for health benefits, which might provide non-pharmacological and non-invasive hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-obesity strategies (Maalik et al., 2016[19]; Santana-Gálvez et al., 2017[30]; Tošović et al., 2017[36]; Naveed et al., 2018[24]). Here, we summarize recent literature on the effects of CGAs on different features of health (Table 1(Tab. 1); References in Table 1: Bao et al., 2018[2]; Chen et al., 2017[3]; Chen et al., 2018[4]; Cheng et al., 2019[5]; Ding et al., 2017[7]; Gao et al., 2018[4]; Guo and Li, 2017[9]; Huang et al., 2017[10]; Kaneda et al., 2018[11]; Kato et al., 2018[12]; Kim et al., 2018[13]; Lee and Lee, 2018[14]; Li et al., 2018[15]; Liu et al., 2017[16]; Lou et al., 2016[17]; Ma et al., 2018[18]; Martínez et al., 2017[20]; Mei et al., 2018[21]; Miao et al., 2017[22]; Moghadam et al., 2017[23]; Nguyen et al., 2017[25]; Park et al., 2017[26]; Pereira et al., 2018[27]; Refolo et al., 2018[28]; Sanchez et al., 2017[29]; Siebert et al., 2018[31]; Song et al., 2018[32]; Tan et al., 2016[34]; Vukelić et al., 2018[37]; Wang et al., 2016[38]; Wei et al., 2018[39]; Xue et al., 2017[40]; Yamagata et al., 2018[41]; Yan et al., 2017[42]; Yan et al., 2018[43]; Yang et al., 2017[44]; Ye et al., 2016[45]; Yuan et al., 2017[46]; Yun and Lee, 2017[47]; Zhang et al., 2017[48]; Zhou et al., 2016[50]; Zhu et al., 2018[51]).


This work was supported by a grant from the Next-Generation BioGreen 21 Program (SSAC, Project #. PJ013328)" Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



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37. Vukelić I, Detel D, Pučar LB, Potočnjak I, Buljević S, Domitrović R. Chlorogenic acid ameliorates experimental colitis in mice by suppressing signaling pathways involved in inflammatory response and apoptosis. Food Chem Toxicol. 2018;121:140-50.
38. Wang J, Li J, Liu J, Xu M, Tong X, Wang J. Chlorogenic acid prevents isoproterenol-induced DNA damage in vascular smooth muscle cells. Mol Med Rep. 2016;14:4063-8.
39. Wei M, Zheng Z, Shi L, Jin Y, Ji L. Natural polyphenol chlorogenic acid protects against acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity by activating ERK/Nrf2 antioxidative pathway. Toxicol Sci. 2018;162:99-112.
40. Xue N, Zhou Q, Ji M, Jin J, Lai F, Chen J, et al. Chlorogenic acid inhibits glioblastoma growth through repolarizating macrophage from M2 to M1 phenotype. Sci Rep. 2017;7:39011.
41. Yamagata K, Izawa Y, Onodera D, Tagami M. Chlorogenic acid regulates apoptosis and stem cell marker-related gene expression in A549 human lung cancer cells. Mol Cell Biochem. 2018;441:9-19.
42. Yan H, Gao YQ, Zhang Y, Wang H, Liu GS, Lei JY. Chlorogenic acid alleviates autophagy and insulin resistance by suppressing JNK pathway in a rat model of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. J Biosci. 2018;43:287-94.
43. Yan Y, Liu N, Hou N, Dong L, Li J. Chlorogenic acid inhibits hepatocellular carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. J Nutr Biochem. 2017;46:68-73.
44. Yang F, Luo L, Zhu ZD, Zhou X, Wang Y, Xue J, et al. Chlorogenic acid inhibits liver fibrosis by blocking the miR-21-regulated TGF-β1/Smad7 signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:929.
45. Ye HY, Li ZY, Zheng Y, Chen Y, Zhou ZH, Jin J. The attenuation of chlorogenic acid on oxidative stress for renal injury in streptozotocin-induced diabetic nephropathy rats. Arch Pharm Res. 2016;39:989-97.
46. Yuan Y, Gong X, Zhang L, Jiang R, Yang J, Wang B, et al. Chlorogenic acid ameliorated concanavalin A-induced hepatitis by suppression of Toll-like receptor 4 signaling in mice. Int Immunopharmacol. 2017;44:97-104.
47. Yun J, Lee DG. Role of potassium channels in chlorogenic acid-induced apoptotic volume decrease and cell cycle arrest in Candida albicans. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017;1861:585-92.
48. Zhang Z, Wu X, Cao S, Cromie M, Shen Y, Feng Y, et al. Chlorogenic acid ameliorates experimental colitis by promoting growth of Akkermansia in mice. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):677.
49. Zhao L, Wang D, Liu J, Yu X, Wang R, Wei Y, et al. Transcriptomic analysis of key genes involved in chlorogenic acid biosynthetic pathway and characterization of MaHCT from Morus alba L. Protein Expr Purif. 2018;156:25-35.
50. Zhou Y, Ruan Z, Wen Y, Yang Y, Mi S, Zhou L, et al. Chlorogenic acid from honeysuckle improves hepatic lipid dysregulation and modulates hepatic fatty acid composition in rats with chronic endotoxin infusion. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2016;58:146-55.
51. Zhu L, Wang L, Cao F, Liu P, Bao H, Yan Y, et al. Modulation of transport and metabolism of bile acids and bilirubin by chlorogenic acid against hepatotoxicity and cholestasis in bile duct ligation rats: involvement of SIRT1-mediated deacetylation of FXR and PGC-1α. J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Sci. 2018;25:195-205.

Table 1: Recent studies of the biological and pharmacological activities of chlorogenic acid

[*] Corresponding Author:

Sang Un Park, Department of Crop Science, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34134, Korea; Tel.: +82-42-821-5730, Fax: +82-42-822-2631, eMail: supark@cnu.ac.kr