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Furanocoumarin A: A Novel Anticancer Agent on Human Lung Cancer A549 Cells from Fructus liquidambaris

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 17 ]


Hui Fang and Hongmei Ji*   Pages 2091 - 2096 ( 6 )


Background and Objective: The fruit of Fructus liquidambaris, which is recently being used for cancer treatment, has a history to be used as a traditional medicine in China for thousands of years.

Materials and Methods: Ten kg of dried F. liquidambaris was obtained with 70% alcohol-water solution under reflux for three times. The condensed extract was obtained from petroleum ether, ethyl acetate and N-butyl alcohol, respectively. Ethyl acetate extract was subjected to silica gel column, Sephadex LH-20, ODS column chromatography and RP-HPLC column chromatography to yield a new compound (1). The structure was identified through intensive analysis of NMR and MS spectra. The antitumor mechanism of the furanocoumarin A on human lung cancer A549 cells was confirmed by detecting the apoptosis-related proteins.

Results: Furanocoumarin A (1), a novel furanocoumarin constituent was isolated and identified from F. Liquidambaris. The IC50 value of furanocoumarin A on A549 cell lines was 65.28±5.36µM obtained by the method of MTT. The compound could induce the apoptosis of A549 cells by inducing 21.5% early apoptosis and 32.4% late apoptosis at the concentration of 60µmol/L. Western blot analysis indicated that protein expressions of p53, caspase 3 and Bax increased in a dose-dependent manner between the concentrations from 40 to 80µM. The protein expression of Bcl-2 decreased the concentration of 60 and 80µM. The ratio of Bcl-2 to Bax was inversely proportional to the dose concentration.

Conclusion: Furanocoumarin A could be a novel anticancer agent from herbal medicine.


Fructus liquidambaris, furanocoumarin, A549, apoptosis, caspase 3, bax.


Department of Thoracic Surgery, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, 110032, Department of Endocrinology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, 110032

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