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Chem Biol Interact. 2011 Jan 15;189(1-2):60-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2010.10.017. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

A propionyloxy derivative of 11-keto-β-boswellic acid induces apoptosis in HL-60 cells mediated through topoisomerase I & II inhibition.

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Pharmacology Division, Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Canal Road, Jammu tawi, Jammu and Kashmir, India.


Boswellic acids have invariably been reported for their antiproliferative potential in various cell systems. In the present study the growth inhibitory effect of propionyloxy derivative of 11-keto-β-boswellic acid (PKBA; a semisynthetic analogue of 11-keto-β-boswellic acid) on HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells is being reported for the first time. In the preliminary studies, in vitro cytotoxicity of PKBA was investigated against eight human cancer cell lines viz., IMR-32, SF-295 (both neuroblastoma), PC-3 (prostate), Colo-205 (colon), MCF-7 (breast), OVCAR-5 (ovary), HL-60, Molt-4 (both leukemia) and their respective IC(50) values were found to be 5.95, 7.11, 15.2, 14.5, 15, 15.9, 8.7 & 9.5μg/ml, respectively. For determining the mechanism of cell death in HL-60 cells, PKBA was subjected to different mechanistic studies. DNA relaxation assay of PKBA revealed inhibition of both topoisomerases I & II. The fragmentation analysis of DNA revealed typical ladders indicating the cytotoxic effect to be mediated by induction of apoptosis. The morphologic studies of PKBA showed the presence of true apoptotic bodies. Apoptosis was confirmed further by flow-cytometric detection of sub-G(1) peaks and enhanced annexin-V-FITC binding of the cells. The activation of apoptotic cascade by PKBA in HL-60 cells was found to be associated with the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, release of cytochrome c, activation of initiator and executioner caspases and cleavage of poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP). In vivo studies of PKBA revealed anti-tumoral activity against both ascitic and solid murine tumor models. These studies thus demonstrate PKBA to induce apoptosis in HL-60 cells due to the inhibition of topoisomerases I and II.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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