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Oncol Rep. 2009 Oct;22(4):845-52.

In vitro anti-neoplastic activity of the ethno-pharmaceutical plant Hypericum adenotrichum Spach endemic to Western Turkey.

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  • 1Institute of Biology, Fen-Edebiyat Fak├╝ltesi, Adnan Menderes Universitesi, Aydin, Turkey.


Hypericum perforatum (St. John's wort) is well-established for its antidepressant activity throughout the world and also various other species within this genus are used in different folk medicines. Hyperforin of St. John's wort inhibited growth of cancer cell lines and the use of hypericin (another compound of H. perforatum) in cancer photodynamic therapy is proposed. Therefore, we investigated the anti-cancer properties of H. adenotrichum Spach (Guttiferae), an endemic species in Turkey called 'kantaron', which is used for wound healing and antiseptic effects. Freeze-dried plant was extracted with petroleum ether, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, and methanol and the bioactivity of these extracts was analysed by proliferation assay, cell death determination, by investigating protein expression profiles specific for cell cycle arrest and apoptosis as well as composition by HPLC. The strongest anti-proliferative activity was determined for the petroleum ether extract with an IpC50 of approximately 5.8 microg/ml medium (referring to 1 mg dried plant) which correlated with cyclin D1 suppression and p21 induction. This extract also induced phosphorylation of H2AX, and activated caspase-3 followed by signature-type cleavage of PARP resulting in approximately 50% apoptosis at 23.2 microg/ml after 24 h of treatment. Neither hyperforin, hypericin, or amentoflavone contributed to these properties. To the best of our knowledge, we report for the first time that the endemic plant H. adenotrichum Spach exhibits potent p53-independent anti-neoplastic properties due to yet unexplored Hypericum constituents.

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