Bioactivity-guided isolation of antiproliferative compounds from the roots of Onopordum acanthium

Boglárka Csupor-Löffler, István Zupkó, Judit Molnár, Peter Forgo, Judit Hohmann

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Onopordum acanthium has been considered in traditional medicine to be effective against different cancers. The chloroform extracts of the root, which displayed antiproliferative effect against human tumor cell lines, was subjected to bioactivity-guided multistep chromatographic separation. This experiment resulted in the isolation of the sesquiterpene lactones 4β,14-dihydro-3- dehydrozaluzanin C (1), zaluzanin C (2) and 4β,15,11β,13- tetrahydrozaluzanin C (3), the neolignan nitidanin-diisovalerianate (4), besides 13-oxo-9Z,11E-octadecadienoic acid (5), 24-methylenecholesterol (6), α-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol. The structures of the isolated compounds were established through analytical data (NMR, MS), and by comparison of these with those reported in the literature. All the aforementioned compounds were detected for the first time from this plant. The antiproliferative activities of compounds 1-6 were assessed on cervix adenocarcinoma HeLa, breast adenocarcinoma MCF7 and skin epidermoid carcinoma A431 cells by using the MTT assay. It was found that, 4β,14-dihydro-3- dehydrozaluzanin C (1), the most active antiproliferative compound of the extract, exerted remarkable tumor cell growth inhibitory activity (IC 50 2.7-15.1 μM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-340
Number of pages4
JournalNatural product communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • 11E-octadecadienoic acid
  • 13-Oxo-9Z
  • Antiproliferative activity
  • Asteraceae
  • Nitidanin-diisovalerianate
  • Onopordum acanthium
  • Sesquiterpene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Plant Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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