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Food Chem. 2013 Dec 1;141(3):1947-55. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2013.05.021. Epub 2013 May 18.

Evaluation of anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties of Dendropanax morbifera Léveille.

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Department of Biochemistry, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Republic of Korea.


Dendropanax morbifera Léveille, an endemic species in Korea, is best known as a tree that produces a resinous sap. Although D. morbifera is used in folk medicine, its biological activities are poorly understood. In this study, the methanolic extracts of D. morbifera branches, debarked stems, bark, and two different stages of leaves were evaluated for anti-oxidant activity and anti-cancer potential. The debarked stem extract exhibited strong 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging activity and reducing power compared with other samples. In addition, the cytotoxic activities of these extracts were investigated in human tumour cell lines. The results suggested that the extracts of debarked stems, green leaves, and yellow leaves were the potent source of anti-cancer compounds, particularly in Huh-7 cells. Furthermore, treatment with the extracts of debarked stems, green leaves, and yellow leaves caused an increase of apoptotic or senescent cells in Huh-7 cells. Twenty-four hour treatment with debarked stems extract resulted in the strong induction of p53 and p16, whereas both leaf extracts inhibited the activation of ERK. The debarked stems and green leaf extracts reduced Akt levels in Huh-7 cells, indicating that D. morbifera extracts caused the activation of p16 and p53 pathways. This, together with the inhibition of Akt or ERK signalling, resulted in suppression of Huh-7 cell proliferation. These results suggest that methanolic leaf and debarked stems extracts are a source of anti-oxidant and anti-cancer compounds, and could be developed as a botanical drug.


Anti-cancer; Anti-oxidant; Apoptosis; Dendropanax morbifera Léveille; Senescence

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