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Open AccessArticle

Molecular Determinants of the Response of Tumor Cells to Boswellic Acids

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.
Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4(8), 1171-1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph4081171
Received: 7 July 2011 / Revised: 11 August 2011 / Accepted: 17 August 2011 / Published: 19 August 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytomedicine)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: apoptosis; Boswellia; ceramide; frankincense; natural products; olibanum; pharmacogenomics; sphingomyelin apoptosis; Boswellia; ceramide; frankincense; natural products; olibanum; pharmacogenomics; sphingomyelin
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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