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Anticancer Res. 1997 Sep-Oct;17(5A):3565-8.

Preferential cytotoxicity to tumor cells of 3,5-diprenyl-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (artepillin C) isolated from propolis.

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National Institute of Health, Tokyo, Japan.


A tumoricidal substance was isolated from Brazilian propolis as guided by cytotoxicity assay on HuH 13 (human hepatocellular carcinoma) cell and was characterized to be 3-[4-hydroxy-3,5-bis (3-methyl-2-butenyl) phenyl]-2-propenoic acid (3,5-diprenyl-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (artepillin C)). It exhibited preferential cytotoxicity to tumor cells cultured in vitro. The cytotoxicity observed seemed to be partly attributable to apoptosis-like DNA fragmentation. The compound showed anti-tumor activity more effective than that of 5-fluorouracil to transplantable human tumor cell lines when tested on histoculture drug response assay system.

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