Phenanthrenes and a dihydrophenanthrene from Tamus communis and their cytotoxic activity

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12 Citations (Scopus)


From the petroleum ether extract of the rhizomes of Tamus communis, the 7-hydroxy-2,3,4,8-tetramethoxyphenanthrene (1) was isolated, together with the known 2,3,4-trimethoxy-7,8-methylenedioxyphenanthrene (2), 3-hydroxy-2,4,-dimethoxy-7,8-methylenedioxyphenanthrene (3), 2-hydroxy-3,5,7-trimethoxyphenanthrene (4) and 2-hydroxy-3,5,7-trimethoxy-9,10-dihydrophenanthrene (5), through cytotoxic assay guidance. The structures were determined by means of HREIMS, 1H NMR, JMOD and NOESY experiments. The cytotoxic effects of the isolated compounds were tested on cervix adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cells, with the MTT assay. The results demonstrated that, with the exception of 2, all these compounds displayed pronounced cytotoxic activity; especially 1 and 3 exhibited significant cell growth inhibitory effects, with IC50 = 8.52 ± 0.70 and 3.64 ± 0.12 μM, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-691
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2007


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Dihydrophenanthrene
  • Dioscoreaceae
  • Phenanthrenes
  • Structure elucidation
  • Tamus communis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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