Two novel long-chain alkanoic acid esters of lupeol from alecrim-propolis. (1/61)

Two new long-chain alkanoic acid esters of lupeol were isolated together with known triterpenoids, alpha-amyrin, beta-amyrin, cycloartenol, lanosta-7,24-diene-3beta-ol and lupeol from Alecrim-propolis collected in Brazil. The structures were characterized by spectroscopic means.  (+info)

In vitro Plasmodium falciparum drug sensitivity assay: inhibition of parasite growth by incorporation of stomatocytogenic amphiphiles into the erythrocyte membrane. (2/61)

Lupeol, which shows in vitro inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 strain with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 27.7 +/- 0.5 microM, was shown to cause a transformation of the human erythrocyte shape toward that of stomatocytes. Good correlation between the IC50 value and the membrane curvature changes caused by lupeol was observed. Preincubation of erythrocytes with lupeol, followed by extensive washing, made the cells unsuitable for parasite growth, suggesting that the compound incorporates into erythrocyte membrane irreversibly. On the other hand, lupeol-treated parasite culture continued to grow well in untreated erythrocytes. Thus, the antiplasmodial activity of lupeol appears to be indirect, being due to stomatocytic transformation of the host cell membrane and not to toxic effects via action on a drug target within the parasite. A number of amphiphiles that cause stomatocyte formation, but not those causing echinocyte formation, were shown to inhibit growth of the parasites, apparently via a mechanism similar to that of lupeol. Since antiplasmodial agents that inhibit parasite growth through erythrocyte membrane modifications must be regarded as unsuitable as leads for development of new antimalarial drugs, care must be exercised in the interpretation of results of screening of plant extracts and natural product libraries by an in vitro Plasmodium toxicity assay.  (+info)

Role of p38 MAPK in lupeol-induced B16 2F2 mouse melanoma cell differentiation. (3/61)

We examined the signaling mechanisms involved in the differentiation-inducing activity of lupeol toward B16 2F2 melanoma cells. alpha-Melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), forskolin and dibutyryl cAMP, which are believed to be cAMP-elevating agents and analogues, enhanced lupeol-induced B16 2F2 cell differentiation. However, H89, an inhibitor of protein kinase A, completely abolished B16-2F2 cell differentiation induced by lupeol. Furthermore, we studied the role of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in lupeol-induced B16 2F2 cell differentiation. U0126, an inhibitor of MAPK kinases, induced B16 2F2 cell differentiation and enhanced the cell differentiation induced by lupeol. However, SB203580, a selective inhibitor of p38 MAPK, completely blocked lupeol-induced B16 2F2 cell differentiation. Western blot analysis revealed that 10 microM lupeol transiently elevated the level of phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. The phosphorylation of p38 MAPK was detected on the addition of 1 microM lupeone, another lupane triterpene, but was not induced by 1 microM lupeol. These results suggested that lupeol induced B16 2F2 cell differentiation through activation of p38 MAPK, and that the structural differences at C-3 of lupane triterpenes played an important role in the activation of p38 MAPK.  (+info)

Asiatic acid, a triterpene, induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest through activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in human breast cancer cells. (4/61)

This study first investigates the anticancer effect of asiatic acid in two human breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. Asiatic acid exhibited effective cell growth inhibition by inducing cancer cells to undergo S-G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis. Blockade of cell cycle was associated with increased p21/WAF1 levels and reduced amounts of cyclinB1, cyclinA, Cdc2, and Cdc25C in a p53-independent manner. Asiatic acid also reduced Cdc2 function by increasing the association of p21/WAF1/Cdc2 complex and the level of inactivated phospho-Cdc2 and phospho-Cdc25C. Asiatic acid treatment triggered the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway indicated by changing Bax/Bcl-2 ratios, cytochrome c release, and caspase-9 activation, but it did not act on Fas/Fas ligand pathways and the activation of caspase-8. We also found that mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), and p38, but not c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), are critical mediators in asiatic acid-induced cell growth inhibition. U0126 [1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis(2-aminophenylthio)butadiene] or SB203580 [4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)-1H-imidazole], specific inhibitors of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase and p38 kinase activities, significantly decreased or delayed apoptosis. Asiatic acid was likely to confine the breast cancer cells in the S-G2/M phase mainly through the p38 pathway, because both SB203580 and p38 small interfering RNA (siRNA) inhibition significantly attenuated the accumulation of inactive phospho-Cdc2 and phospho-Cdc25C proteins and the cell numbers of S-G2/M phase. Moreover, U0126 and ERK siRNA inhibition completely suppressed asiatic acid-induced Bcl-2 phosphorylation and Bax up-regulation, and caspase-9 activation. Together, these results imply a critical role for ERK1/2 and p38 but not JNK, p53, and Fas/Fas ligand in asiatic acid-induced S-G2/M arrest and apoptosis of human breast cancer cells.  (+info)

Inhibitory effects of asiatic acid and CPT-11 on growth of HT-29 cells. (5/61)

Asiatic acid is a pentacyclic triterpene contained in medicinal plants. The cytotoxic effect of this compound and its augmentative effect on the anticancer drug irinotecan hydrochloride (CPT-11) were investigated in the human colon adenocarcinoma cell line HT-29. Asiatic acid dose-dependently showed cytotoxicity in HT-29 cells. DNA fragmentation, annexin-positive apoptotic cells, and caspase-3 activation were observed in a dose-dependent manner. A caspase-3 inhibitor suppressed the DNA ladder formation in a concentration-dependent manner. Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL proteins were decreased by asiatic acid treatment. These results indicate that asiatic acid induced apoptosis in HT-29 cells via caspase-3 activation. Cytotoxic effects of combined treatment with CPT-11 and asiatic acid on HT-29 cells were further examined. Simultaneous treatment or sequential exposure first to asiatic acid and then to CPT-11 showed an additive effect. Synergism was observed when cells were first exposed to CPT-11 and then to asiatic acid. These results suggest that asiatic acid can be used as an agent for increasing sensitivity of colon cancer cells to treatment with CPT-11 or as an agent for reducing adverse effects of CPT-11.  (+info)

Lupeol, a fruit and vegetable based triterpene, induces apoptotic death of human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells via inhibition of Ras signaling pathway. (6/61)

Pancreatic cancer is an exceptionally aggressive disease, the treatment of which has largely been unsuccessful due to higher resistance offered by pancreatic cancer cells to conventional approaches such as surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. The aberration of Ras oncoprotein has been linked to the induction of multiple signaling pathways and to the resistance offered by pancreatic cancer cells to apoptosis. Therefore, there is a need for development of new and effective chemotherapeutic agents which can target multiple pathways to induce responsiveness of pancreatic cancer cells to death signals. In this study, human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells AsPC-1 were used to investigate the effect of Lupeol on cell growth and its effects on the modulation of multiple Ras-induced signaling pathways. Lupeol caused a dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth as assessed by MTT assay and induction of apoptosis as assessed by flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy and western blotting. Lupeol treatment to cells was found to significantly reduce the expression of Ras oncoprotein and modulate the protein expression of various signaling molecules involved in PKCalpha/ODC, PI3K/Akt and MAPKs pathways along with a significant reduction in the activation of NFkappaB signaling pathway. Our data suggest that Lupeol can adopt a multi-prong strategy to target multiple signaling pathways leading to induction of apoptosis and inhibition of growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Lupeol could be a potential agent against pancreatic cancer, however, further in-depth in vivo studies are warranted.  (+info)

Plant sterols and stanols: effects on mixed micellar composition and LXR (target gene) activation. (7/61)

Plant stanols and sterols of the 4-desmethyl family (e.g., sitostanol and sitosterol) effectively decrease LDL cholesterol concentrations, whereas 4,4-dimethylsterols (alpha-amyrin and lupeol) do not. Serum carotenoid concentrations, however, are decreased by both plant sterol families. The exact mechanisms underlying these effects are not known, although effects on micellar composition have been suggested. With a liver X receptor (LXR) coactivator peptide recruitment assay, we showed that plant sterols and stanols from the 4-desmethylsterol family activated both LXRalpha and LXRbeta, whereas 4,4-dimethyl plant sterols did not. In fully differentiated Caco-2 cells, the functionality of this effect was shown by the increased expression of ABCA1, one of the known LXR target genes expressed by Caco-2 cells in measurable amounts. The LXR-activating potential of the various plant sterols/stanols correlated positively with ABCA1 mRNA expression. Reductions in serum hydrocarbon carotenoids could be explained by the effects of the 4-desmethyl family and 4,4-dimethylsterols on micellar carotenoid incorporation. Our findings indicate that the decreased intestinal absorption of cholesterol and carotenoids by plant sterols and stanols is caused by two distinct mechanisms.  (+info)

Crystal structures of the free and sterol-bound forms of beta-cinnamomin. (8/61)

The crystal structure of the elicitin beta-cinnamomin (beta-CIN) was determined in complex with ergosterol at 1.1 A resolution. beta-CIN/ergosterol complex crystallized in the monoclinic space group P2(1), with unit cell parameters of a = 31.0, b = 62.8, c = 50.0 A and beta = 93.4 degrees and two molecules in the asymmetric unit. Ligand extraction with chloroform followed by crystallographic analysis yielded a 1.35 A structure of beta-CIN (P4(3)2(1)2 space group) where the characteristic elicitin fold was kept. After incubation with cholesterol, a new complex structure was obtained, showing that the protein retains, after the extraction procedure, its ability to complex sterols. The necrotic effect of beta-CIN on tobacco was also shown to remain unchanged. Theoretical docking studies of the triterpene lupeol to beta-CIN provided an explanation for the apparent inability of beta-CIN to bind this ligand, as observed experimentally.  (+info)