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Open AccessArticle

Comparative Analysis of Pentacyclic Triterpenic Acid Compositions in Oleogum Resins of Different Boswellia Species and Their In Vitro Cytotoxicity against Treatment-Resistant Human Breast Cancer Cells

1
Institute of Pharmacology of Natural Products and Clinical Pharmacology, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany
2
Medicinal Plants Division, Research Center, Dhofar University, Salalah 211, Oman
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Luisa Tesoriere and Alessandro Attanzio
Molecules 2019, 24(11), 2153; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24112153
Received: 21 May 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytotoxic Activity of Plant Extracts)
Pentacyclic triterpenic acids from oleogum resins of Boswellia species are of considerable therapeutic interest. Yet, their pharmaceutical development is hampered by uncertainties regarding botanical identification and the complexity of triterpenic acid mixtures. Here, a highly sensitive, selective, and accurate method for the simultaneous quantification of eight boswellic and lupeolic acids by high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection (HPLC-MS/MS) was developed. The method was applied to the comparative analysis of 41 oleogum resins of the species B. sacra, B. dalzielli, B. papyrifera, B. serrata, B. carterii, B. neglecta, B. rivae, B. frereana, and B. occulta. Multivariate statistical analysis of the data revealed differences in the triterpenic acid composition that could be assigned to distinct Boswellia species and to their geographic growth location. Extracts of the oleogum resins exhibited cytotoxicity against the human, treatment-resistant, metastatic breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. Extracts from B. sacra were the most potent ones with an average IC50 of 8.3 ± 0.6 µg/mL. The oleogum resin of the B. sacra was further fractionated to enrich different groups of substances. The cytotoxic efficacy against the cancer cells correlates positively with the contents of pentacyclic triterpenic acids in Boswellia extracts. View Full-Text
Keywords: frankincense; Boswellia; Boswellia occulta; pentacyclic triterpenic acid; boswellic acid; lupeolic acid; breast cancer; MDA-MB-231 frankincense; Boswellia; Boswellia occulta; pentacyclic triterpenic acid; boswellic acid; lupeolic acid; breast cancer; MDA-MB-231
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schmiech, M.; Lang, S.J.; Werner, K.; Rashan, L.J.; Syrovets, T.; Simmet, T. Comparative Analysis of Pentacyclic Triterpenic Acid Compositions in Oleogum Resins of Different Boswellia Species and Their In Vitro Cytotoxicity against Treatment-Resistant Human Breast Cancer Cells. Molecules 2019, 24, 2153.

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  • Supplementary File 1:

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    Link: http://Table S1, Table S2
    Description: Table S1. Information on the sources of the Boswellia samples and the concentrations of pentacyclic triterpenic acids (PTA) in the Boswellia extracts; voucher specimens were deposited in the Herbarium of the Botanical Garden, Institute of Systematic Botany and Ecology, Ulm University. Table S2. Fractionated extraction of sample # 1 (B. sacra, Superior Hojari). Yields of extraction, concentrations of pentacyclic triterpenic acids (PTA), and toxicity to MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells (72 h, n = 3).
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