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Molecules 2013, 18(3), 2587-2588; doi:10.3390/molecules18032587

Lee et al., Inhibitory Effect and Mechanism of Antiproliferation of Isoatriplicolide Tiglate (PCAC) from Paulownia Coreana. Molecules 2012, 17, 5945-5951: A Note Regarding Paulownia coreana.
Christophe Wiart
School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Medical School, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
Received: 18 February 2013; in revised form: 22 February 2013 / Accepted: 22 February 2013 / Published: 26 February 2013

I read with interest the article by Lee et al. entitled “Inhibitory Effect and Mechanism of Antiproliferation of Isoatriplicolide Tiglate (PCAC) from Paulownia Coreana” [1]. This article is quite interesting and the authors should be complimented for the significant amount of work they have done. The purpose of this letter is to call attention to the need for some clarification on the name of the plant described in this article. Lee et al. state: “Paulownia coreana has traditionally been used as the medicine and health food in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases.” and elsewhere: “In fact, many cancer research studies have been conducted using traditional medicinal plants such as P. coreana.” [1].

I have been studying the pharmacotoxicological properties of the medicinal plants of Asia and the Pacific for the last 15 years [2,3,4,5,6,7] and the sole members of the genus Paulownia Siebold & Zucc. (1835) officially recognized in China and Korea are Paulownia catalpifolia T. Gong ex D.Y. Hong, Paulownia elongata S.Y. Hu, Paulownia fargesii Franch., Paulownia fortunei (Seem.) Hemsl., Paulownia kawakamii T. Itô, Paulownia taiwaniana T.W. Hu & H.J. Chang and Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Steud. [8]. Paulownia coreana does not exist and therefore cannot be medicinal nor the source of the phytochemical described in [1]. In addition, the chemical structure of isoatriplicolide tiglate as provided by Lee et al. is incomplete as regards to carbon numbering and the class of sesquiterpene to which this molecule belongs is not specified. Prompt revision of the name assigned to this plant (and henceforth any comments on its properties or phytochemical content) is required to ensure the accuracy of the scientific record.


  1. Jung, S.; Moon, H.I.; Ohk, J.; Lee, S.; Li, C.; Kim, S.K.; Lee, M.S. Inhibitory effect and mechanism of antiproliferation of isoatriplicolide tiglate (PCAC) from Paulownia coreana. Molecules 2012, 17, 5945–5951. [Google Scholar]
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