Sesquiterpene lactones from shoot culture of Artemisia aucheri with cytotoxicity against prostate and breast cancer cells

Jalil Abbaspour , Ali Akbar Ehsanpour, Mahmoud Aghaei, Mustafa Ghanadian


Plant tissue culture is used to grow plant cells, tissues, or organs under sterile and determined conditions on culture media. It is alternative to traditional vegetative propagation, and is applied as an effective technology for the production of valuable secondary metabolites. The Artemisia aucheri (A. aucheri) was obtained from shoot culture grown on MS (Murashige and Skoog 1962) medium. Shade-dried aerial parts of in vitro grown A. aucheri (50 g) were extracted with dichloromethane-acetone (90:10).  The extract was submitted for isolation to sephadex gel chromatography and preparative thin layer chromatography, which resulted in identification of one known eudesmanolide named artemin or   2,5-dihydroxy-12, 6-eudesmanolide-4(15)-en for the first time in this plant. In cell cytotoxicity test, artemin showed cytotoxic activity against DU-145,LNCaP prostate cancer, and MCF-7 breast cancer cells with IC50 values of 82.2 ± 5.6, 89.1 ± 6.3 and 111.5 ± 6.7 μM , respectively. Artemin was more active against prostate cancer cells with approximately same cytotoxicity against LNCaP androstane dependent cells and DU 145 which is androstane independent.


Artemisia aucheri; Breast cancer; Cytotoxicity; Eudesmanolide; Prostate cancer; Sesquiterpene lactone.

Full Text:



Cai Z, Riedel H, Saw NMMT, Mewis I, Reineke K, Knorr D, et al. Effects of elicitors and high hydrostatic pressure on secondary metabolism of Vitis vinifera suspension culture. Process Biochem. 2011;46(7):1411-1416.

Podlech D. Artemisia L. In: Rechinger KH, editor. Flora Iranica. Vol 158. Flora Iranica Project; 1986. PP. 159-223.

Hosseini SZ, Kappas M, Zare Chahouki M, Gerold G, Erasmi S, Rafiei Emam A. Modelling potential habitats for Artemisia sieberi and Artemisia aucheri in Poshtkouh area, central Iran using the maximum entropy model and geostatistics. Ecol Inform. 2013;18:61-68.

Asgary S, Dinani NJ, Madani H, Mahzouni P. Ethanolic extract of Artemisia aucheri induces regression of aorta wall fatty streaks in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Pharmazie. 2008;63(5):394-397.

Yang JY, Lee HS. Verbenone structural analogues isolated from Artemesia aucheri as natural acaricides against Dermatophagoides spp. and Tyrophagus putrescentiae. J Agric Food Chem. 2013;61(50):12292-12296.

Sharif M, Ziaei H, Azadbakht M, Daryani A, Ebadattalab A, Rostami M. Effect of methanolic extracts of Artemisia aucheri and Camellia sinensis on Leishmania major (in vitro). Turk J Med Sci. 2006;36(6):365-369.

Ghazi-Khansaria M, Mojarrab M, Ahmadi F, Hosseinzadeh L. The antiproliferative effects of petroleum ether extract of Artemisia aucheri on human cancerous cell lines. J Rep Pharm Sci. 2013;2(2):61-66.

Hashemi P, Abolghasemi M, Fakhari A, Ebrahimi SN, Ahmadi S. Hydrodistillation-solvent microextraction and GC-MS identification of volatile components of Artemisia aucheri. Chromatographia, 2007;66(3-4):283-286.

Rustaiyan A, Bamonieri A, Raffatrad M, Jakupovic J, Bohlmann F. Eudesmane derivatives and highly oxygenated monoterpenes from Iranian Artemisia species. Phytochemistry. 1987;26(8):2307-2310.

Murashige T, Skoog F. A revised medium for rapid growth and bioassays with tobacco tissue cultures. Physiol Plant. 1962:15:473-479.

Aghaei M, Ghanadian M, Sajjadi SE, Saghafian R. Pimpinelol, a novel atypical sesquiterpene lactone from Pimpinella haussknechtii fruits with evaluation of endoplasmic reticulum stress in breast cancer cells. Fitoterapia. 2018;129:198-202.

Aghaei M, Yazdiniapour Z, Ghanadian M, Zolfaghari B, Lanzotti V, Mirsafaee V. Obtusifoliol related steroids from Euphorbia sogdiana with cell growth inhibitory activity and apoptotic effects on breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and MDA-MB231). Steroids. 2016;115:90-97.

Marco JA, Sanz-Cervera JF, Ropero FJ, Batlle N, Guara M, Vallès-Xirau J. Germacranolides and a monoterpene cyclic peroxide from Artemisia fragrans. Phytochemistry. 1998;47(7):1417-1419.

Marco JA. Sesquiterpene lactones from Artemisia herba-alba subsp. Herba-alba. Phytochemistry. 1989;28(11):3121-3136.

Sanz JF, Marco JA. Sesquiterpene lactones from Artemisia caerulescens subsp. gargantae. Phytochemistry. 1990;29(9):2913-2917.

Kawasaki BT, Hurt EM, Kalathur M, Duhagon MA, Milner JA, Kim YS, et al. Effects of the sesquiterpene lactone parthenolide on prostate tumor‐initiating cells: An integrated molecular profiling approach. Prostate. 2009;69(8):827-837.

Nakagawa Y, Iinuma M, Matsuura N, Yi K, Naoi M, Nakayama T, et al. A potent apoptosis-inducing activity of a sesquiterpene lactone, arucanolide, in HL60 cells: a crucial role of apoptosis-inducing factor. J Pharmacol Sci. 2005;97(2):242-252.

Negrín G, Rubio S, Marrero MT, Quintana J, Eiroa JL, Triana J, et al. The eudesmanolide tanapsin from Tanacetum oshanahanii and its acetate induce cell death in human tumor cells through a mechanism dependent on reactive oxygen species. Phytomedicine. 2015;22(3):385-393.

Rosselli S, Bruno M, Raimondo FM, Spadaro V, Varol M, Koparal AT, et al. Cytotoxic effect of eudesmanolides isolated from flowers of Tanacetum vulgare ssp. siculum. Molecules. 2012;17(7): 8186-8195.

Xie C, Wang H, Sun X, Meng L, Wang M,Bartlam M, Guo Y. Isolation, characterization, and antiproliferative activities of eudesmanolide derivatives from the flowers of Inula japonica. J Agric Food Chem. 2015;63(41):9006-9011.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.