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Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4(8), 1171-1182; doi:10.3390/ph4081171
Article

Molecular Determinants of the Response of Tumor Cells to Boswellic Acids

1, 2 and 1,*
1 Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Staudinger Weg 5, 55128 Mainz, Germany 2 Heidelberg School of Chinese Medicine, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2011 / Revised: 11 August 2011 / Accepted: 17 August 2011 / Published: 19 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytomedicine)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [574 KB, 22 August 2011; original version 19 August 2011]   |   Browse Figures

Abstract

Frankincense (Boswellia serrata, B. carterii) is used as traditional remedy to treat inflammatory diseases. The molecular effects of the active ingredients, the boswellic acids, on the immune system have previously been studied and verified in several clinical studies. Boswellic acids also inhibit cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. The molecular basis of the cytotoxicity of boswellic acids is, however, not fully understood as yet. By mRNA-based microarray, COMPARE, and hierarchical cluster analyses, we identified a panel of genes from diverse functional groups, which were significantly associated with sensitivity or resistance of a- or b-boswellic acids, such as transcription factors, signal transducers, growth regulating genes, genes involved in RNA and protein metabolism and others. This indicates that boswellic acids exert profound cytotoxicity on cancer cells by a multiplicity of molecular mechanisms.
Keywords: apoptosis; Boswellia; ceramide; frankincense; natural products; olibanum; pharmacogenomics; sphingomyelin apoptosis; Boswellia; ceramide; frankincense; natural products; olibanum; pharmacogenomics; sphingomyelin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Eichhorn, T.; Greten, H.J.; Efferth, T. Molecular Determinants of the Response of Tumor Cells to Boswellic Acids. Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4, 1171-1182.

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