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Molecular Determinants of the Response of Tumor Cells to Boswellic Acids
Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Staudinger Weg 5, 55128 Mainz, Germany
Heidelberg School of Chinese Medicine, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2011; in revised form: 11 August 2011 / Accepted: 17 August 2011 / Published: 19 August 2011
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
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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.
Eichhorn T, Greten HJ, Efferth T. Molecular Determinants of the Response of Tumor Cells to Boswellic Acids. Pharmaceuticals. 2011; 4(8):1171-1182.
Eichhorn, Tolga; Greten, Henry Johannes; Efferth, Thomas. 2011. "Molecular Determinants of the Response of Tumor Cells to Boswellic Acids." Pharmaceuticals 4, no. 8: 1171-1182.