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Neolignans from Nectandra megapotamica (Lauraceae) Display in vitro Cytotoxic Activity and Induce Apoptosis in Leukemia Cells

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Instituto de Ciências Ambientais, Químicas e Farmacêuticas, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Diadema, SP 09972-270, Brazil
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Departamento de Microbiologia, Imunologia e Parasitologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP 04023-062, Brazil
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Molecules 2015, 20(7), 12757-12768; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200712757
Received: 8 June 2015 / Revised: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
Nectandra megapotamica (Spreng.) Mez. (Lauraceae) is a well-known Brazilian medicinal plant that has been used in folk medicine to treat several diseases. In continuation of our ongoing efforts to discover new bioactive natural products from the Brazilian flora, this study describes the identification of cytotoxic compounds from the MeOH extract of N. megapotamica (Lauraceae) leaves using bioactivity-guided fractionation. This approach resulted in the isolation and characterization of eight tetrahydrofuran neolignans: calopeptin (1), machilin-G (2), machilin-I (3), aristolignin (4), nectandrin A (5), veraguensin (6), ganschisandrin (7), and galgravin (8). Different assays were conducted to evaluate their cytotoxic activities and to determine the possible mechanism(s) related to the activity displayed against human leukemia cells. The most active compounds 4, 5 and 8 gave IC50 values of 14.2 ± 0.7, 16.9 ± 0.8 and 16.5 ± 0.8 µg/mL, respectively, against human leukemia (HL-60) tumor cells. Moreover, these compounds induced specific apoptotic hallmarks, such as plasma membrane bleb formation, nuclear DNA condensation, specific chromatin fragmentation, phosphatidyl-serine exposure on the external leaflet of the plasma membrane, cleavage of PARP as well as mitochondrial damage, which as a whole could be related to the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. View Full-Text
Keywords: Nectandra megapotamica; Lauraceae; neolignans; cytotoxic effect; apoptosis Nectandra megapotamica; Lauraceae; neolignans; cytotoxic effect; apoptosis
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Ponci, V.; Figueiredo, C.R.; Massaoka, M.H.; De Farias, C.F.; Matsuo, A.L.; Sartorelli, P.; Lago, J.H.G. Neolignans from Nectandra megapotamica (Lauraceae) Display in vitro Cytotoxic Activity and Induce Apoptosis in Leukemia Cells. Molecules 2015, 20, 12757-12768.

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