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J Ethnopharmacol. 2002 May;80(2-3):115-20.

Cupressus lusitanica (Cupressaceae) leaf extract induces apoptosis in cancer cells.

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Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, División de Investigación Básica, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Av. San Fernando No. 22, Tlalpan, 14000, Mexico, D.F., Mexico.


A crude ethanolic extract of Cupressus lusitanica Mill. leaves demonstrate cytotoxicity in a panel of cancer cell lines. Cell death was due to apoptosis, as assessed by morphologic features (chromatin condensation and apoptotic bodies formation) and specific DNA fragmentation detected by in situ end-labeling of DNA breaks (TUNEL). The apoptotic cell death was induced timely in a dose-dependent manner. Despite the absence of changes in the expression levels of antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2, proapoptotic Bax protein variants omega and delta were increased. These results warrant further research of possible antitumor compounds in this plant.

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