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Biol Pharm Bull. 2002 Sep;25(9):1241-3.

Antitumor-promoting constituents from Dioscorea bulbifera L. in JB6 mouse epidermal cells.

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Department of Traditional Chinese Medicines, Shengyang Pharmaceutical University, China.


An antitumor-promoting effect was found in the extracts/ingredients of a plant used as a traditional medicine in mainland China, using the neoplastic transformation assay of mouse epidermal JB6 cell lines. The ethyl acetate soluble fraction of 75% ethanol extract of the rhizomes of Dioscorea bulbifera L. showed an inhibitory effect against the tumor promotion of JB6 (Cl 22 and Cl 41) cells induced by a promoter, 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA). Further investigation on the constituents of the EtOAc fraction from the rhizomes revealed the chemical structure to be kaempferol-3,5-dimethyl ether (1), caryatin (2), (+)-catechin (3), myricetin (4), quercetin-3-O-galactopyranoside (5), myricetin-3-O-galactopyranoside (6), myricetin-3-O-glucopyranoside (7) and diosbulbin B (8). Constituent antitumor-promoting activities were also examined in the same way. Compounds 1-7, characterized as flavonoids with the two hydroxyl groups at C-7 and C-4', showed the most potent inhibitory effect, but there seemed to be differences in the inhibitory effect between flavonol aglycones and flavonol glycosides. Compared with (-)-epicatechin, (+)-catechin exhibited much stronger inhibitory activity which suggested that chemical stereo structures of compounds affect the efficiency of inhibition. Compound 8 showed moderate activity. The constituents with antitumor-promoting activity from this plant are reported for the first time.

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