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Biol Pharm Bull. 2000 Aug;23(8):962-7.

Differentiation-inducing activity of lupeol, a lupane-type triterpene from Chinese dandelion root (Hokouei-kon), on a mouse melanoma cell line.

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  • 1Akita Research Institute of Food & Brewing (ARIF), Japan.


We examined the differentiation-inducing effects of extracts of 49 wild plants, 25 types of seaweed and 26 mushrooms in Akita on the human leukemia cell line HL60 and a B16 mouse melanoma-derived sub-clone with high differentiation capability (B16 2F2). Differentiation inducers of HL60 cells such as retinoic acid, showed no effects on the differentiation of B16 2F2 cells. Furthermore, chemical compounds known to be inducers of B16 cells, did not induce differentiation of HL60 cells. Screening tests showed that the differentiation of HL60 cells was induced by extracts of 28 wild plants, 10 types of seaweed and 2 mushrooms, and melanogenesis of B16 2F2 cells was increased by extracts of 21 wild plants, 8 types of seaweed and 7 mushrooms. All of the alcoholic extracts of plants belonging to the subfamily Cichorioideae of the family Compositae caused cell differentiation of the melanoma cell line. The extracts of Chinese dandelion root, also inhibited cell growth and induced melanogenesis of B16 2F2 cells. We isolated the active compound from ethanol extracts of the crude drug. Chemical and physical data for the active compound were identical with those for lupeol, a lupane-type triterpene.

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