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San Jose, Guatemala

Lajter I.,University of Szeged | Vasas A.,University of Szeged | Beni Z.,Spectroscopic Research | Forgo P.,University of Szeged | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Natural Products | Year: 2014

Five new sesquiterpenes, neurolobatin A (1), neurolobatin B (2), 5β-hydroxy-8β-isovaleroyloxy-9α-hydroxycalyculatolide (3), 3-epi-desacetylisovaleroylheliangine (4), and 3β-acetoxy-8β- isovaleroyloxyreynosin (5), were isolated from the aerial parts of Neurolaena lobata. The structures were established by means of a combined spectroscopic data analysis, including ESIMS, APCI-MS, and 1D- and 2D-NMR techniques. Neurolobatin A (1) and B (2) are unusual isomeric seco-germacranolide sesquiterpenes with a bicyclic acetal moiety, compounds 3 and 4 are unsaturated epoxy-germacranolide esters, and compound 5 is the first eudesmanolide isolated from the genus Neurolaena. The isolated compounds (1-5) were shown to have noteworthy antiproliferative activities against human tumor cell lines (A2780, A431, HeLa, and MCF7). The anti-inflammatory effects of 1-5, evaluated in vitro using LPS- and TNF-α-induced IL-8 expression inhibitory assays, revealed that all these compounds strongly down-regulated the LPS-induced production of IL-8 protein, with neurolobatin B (2) and 3-epi-desacetylisovaleroylheliangine (4) being the most effective. © 2014 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy.


Unger C.,Medical University of Vienna | Popescu R.,University of Vienna | Giessrigl B.,Medical University of Vienna | Rarova L.,Palacky University | And 13 more authors.
International Journal of Oncology | Year: 2012

Investigating the bioactivity of traditional medical remedies under the controlled conditions of a laboratory is an option to find additional applications, novel formulations or lead structures for the development of new drugs. The present work analysed the anti-neoplastic activity of increasing polar extracts of the rainforest plant Critonia morifolia (Asteraceae) that has been successfully used as traditional remedy to treat various inflammatory conditions in the long-lasting medical tradition of the Central American Maya, which was here also confirmed in vitro. The apolar petroleum ether extract exhibited the most potent anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in HL-60 cells and triggered down-regulation of Cdc25C and cyclin D1 within 30 min followed by the inhibition of c-Myc expression and the onset of caspase-3 activation within 2 h. Subsequent to these very rapid molecular responses Chk2 and H2AX became phosphorylated (γ-H2AX) after 4 h. Analysis of the cell cycle distribution showed an accumulation of cells in the G2-M phase within 8 h and after 24 h in S-phase. This was temporally paralleled by the down-regulation of Cdc25A, Cdc25B, Wee1 and Akt. Therefore, the attenuation of cell cycle progression in the G2-M phase was consistent with the known role of Chk2 for G2-M arrest and with the role of Cdc25B in S-phase progression. These findings suggest the presence of two distinct active principles in the petroleum ether extract of C. moriflia. These facilitated the strong apoptotic response evidenced by the rapid activation of caspase-3 that was later enforced by the inhibition of the survival kinase Akt. Importantly, the efficient down-regulation of Akt, which is successfully tested in current clinical trials, is a unique property of C. morifolia.


Kiss I.,Medical University of Vienna | Unger C.,Medical University of Vienna | Huu C.N.,Medical University of Vienna | Atanasov A.G.,University of Vienna | And 30 more authors.
Cancer Letters | Year: 2015

An apolar extract of the traditional medicinal plant Neurolaena lobata inhibited the expression of the NPM/ALK chimera, which is causal for the majority of anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCLs). Therefore, an active principle of the extract, the furanoheliangolide sesquiterpene lactone lobatin B, was isolated and tested regarding the inhibition of ALCL expansion and tumour cell intravasation through the lymphendothelium.ALCL cell lines, HL-60 cells and PBMCs were treated with plant compounds and the ALK inhibitor TAE-684 to measure mitochondrial activity, proliferation and cell cycle progression and to correlate the results with protein- and mRNA-expression of selected gene products. Several endpoints indicative for cell death were analysed after lobatin B treatment. Tumour cell intravasation through lymphendothelial monolayers was measured and potential causal mechanisms were investigated analysing NF-κB- and cytochrome P450 activity, and 12(S)-HETE production.Lobatin B inhibited the expression of NPM/ALK, JunB and PDGF-Rβ, and attenuated proliferation of ALCL cells by arresting them in late M phase. Mitochondrial activity remained largely unaffected upon lobatin B treatment. Nevertheless, caspase 3 became activated in ALCL cells. Also HL-60 cell proliferation was attenuated whereas PBMCs of healthy donors were not affected by lobatin B. Additionally, tumour cell intravasation, which partly depends on NF-κB, was significantly suppressed by lobatin B most likely due to its NF-κB-inhibitory property.Lobatin B, which was isolated from a plant used in ethnomedicine, targets malignant cells by at least two properties:. I) inhibition of NPM/ALK, thereby providing high specificity in combating this most prevalent fusion protein occurring in ALCL;. II) inhibition of NF-κB, thereby not affecting normal cells with low constitutive NF-κB activity. This property also inhibits tumour cell intravasation into the lymphatic system and may provide an option to manage this early step of metastatic progression. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Unger C.,Medical University of Vienna | Kiss I.,Medical University of Vienna | Vasas A.,University of Szeged | Lajter I.,University of Szeged | And 29 more authors.
Phytomedicine | Year: 2015

Abstract Background The t(2;5)(p23;q35) chromosomal translocation results in the expression of the fusion protein NPM/ALK that when expressed in T-lymphocytes gives rise to anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCL). In search of new therapy options the dichloromethane extract of the ethnomedicinal plant Neurolaena lobata (L.) R.Br. ex Cass was shown to inhibit NPM/ALK expression. Purpose Therefore, we analysed whether the active principles that were recently isolated and found to inhibit inflammatory responses specifically inhibit growth of NPM/ALK+ ALCL, leukaemia and breast cancer cells, but not of normal cells, and the intravasation through the lymphendothelial barrier. Methods ALCL, leukaemia and breast cancer cells, and normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were treated with isolated sesquiterpene lactones and analysed for cell cycle progression, proliferation, mitochondrial activity, apoptosis, protein and mRNA expression, NF-κB and cytochrome P450 activity, 12(S)-HETE production and lymphendothelial intravasation. Results In vitro treatment of ALCL by neurolenin B suppressed NPM/ALK, JunB and PDGF-Rβ expression, inhibited the growth of ALCL cells late in M phase, and induced apoptosis via caspase 3 without compromising mitochondrial activity (as a measure of general exogenic toxicity). Moreover, neurolenin B attenuated tumour spheroid intravasation probably through inhibition of NF-κB and CYP1A1. Conclusion Neurolenin B specifically decreased pro-carcinogenic NPM/ALK expression in ALK+ ALCL cells and, via the inhibition of NF-kB signalling, attenuated tumour intra/extravasation into the lymphatics. Hence, neurolenin B may open new options to treat ALCL and to manage early metastatic processes to which no other therapies exist. © 2015 Elsevier GmbH.


Bauer S.,Medical University of Vienna | Singhuber J.,University of Vienna | Seelinger M.,Medical University of Vienna | Unger C.,Medical University of Vienna | And 16 more authors.
Frontiers in Bioscience - Elite | Year: 2011

Natural products continue to represent the main source for therapeutics, and ethnopharmacological remedies from high biodiversity regions are a rich source for the development of novel drugs. Hence, in our attempt to find new anti-neoplastic activities we focused on ethnomedicinal plants of the Maya, who live in the world's third richest area in vascular plant species. Pluchea odorata (Asteraceae) is traditionally used for the treatment of various inflammatory disorders and recently, the in vitro anti-cancer activities of different extracts of this plant were described. Here, we present the results of bioassay-guided fractionations of the dichloromethane extract of P. odorata that aimed to enrich the active principles. The separation resulted in fractions which showed the dissociation of two distinct anti-neoplastic mechanisms; firstly, a genotoxic effect that was accompanied by tubulin polymerization, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis (fraction F2/11), and secondly, an effect that interfered with the orchestrated expression of Cyclin D1, Cdc25A, and Cdc2 and that also led to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (fraction F3/4). Thus, the elimination of generally toxic properties and beyond that the development of active principles of P. odorata, which disturb cancer cell cycle progression, are of interest for potential future therapeutic concepts against proliferative diseases.

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