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Open AccessArticle

Cytotoxicity of Triterpene Seco-Acids from Betula pubescens Buds

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Medical University of Bialystok, 15-222 Białystok, Poland
Forest Faculty, Białystok University of Technology, 17-200 Hajnówka, Poland
Department of Pharmacognosy, Medical University of Bialystok, 15-222 Białystok, Poland
Institute of Chemistry, University of Białystok, 15-245 Białystok, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kamelija Zarkovic and Neven Zarkovic
Molecules 2019, 24(22), 4060;
Received: 9 October 2019 / Revised: 1 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 9 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Molecular Medicine)
The present study investigated the magnitude and mechanism of the cytotoxic effect on selected cancer cell lines of 3,4-seco-urs-4(23),20(30)-dien-3-oic acid (1), 3,4-seco-olean-4(24)-en-19-oxo-3-oic acid (2), and 3,4-seco-urs-4(23),20(30)-dien-19-ol-3-oic acid (3) isolated from downy birch (Betula pubescens) buds by carbon dioxide supercritical fluid extraction and gradient column chromatography. Cell viability in six human cancer lines exposed to these compounds was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Apoptosis was quantified by annexin V/propidium iodide staining of gastric cancer AGS and colorectal cancer DLD-1 cells. To evaluate the mechanism of apoptosis, the expression of apoptosis-related proteins was analyzed by Western blot. Compound 1 exhibited non-specific toxicity, while compounds 2 and 3 were specifically toxic to colon and stomach cancer cells. The toxicity of compounds 2 and 3 against these two cell lines was greater than for compound 1. Cleavage of caspase-8, -9, and -3 was found in AGS and DLD-1 cells treated with all three seco-acids, indicating the induction of apoptosis via extrinsic and intrinsic pathways. Therefore, triterpene seco-acids (13) decreased cell viability by apoptosis induction. AGS and DLD-1 cells were more susceptible to seco-acids with an oxidized C19 than normal fibroblasts. Hence, it made them a new group of triterpenes with potential anticancer activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: birch buds; triterpene seco-acids; cytotoxicity; apoptosis birch buds; triterpene seco-acids; cytotoxicity; apoptosis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Szoka, Ł.; Isidorov, V.; Nazaruk, J.; Stocki, M.; Siergiejczyk, L. Cytotoxicity of Triterpene Seco-Acids from Betula pubescens Buds. Molecules 2019, 24, 4060.

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