• 1 Department of Pharmacy, University of Malakand, Malakand, Pakistan
  • 2 Research Institute of Natural Products for Drug Discovery (RiND), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Shah Alam, Malaysia
  • 3 Department of Chemistry, Kohat University of Science & Technology, Kohat, Pakistan
  • 4 Department of Biochemistry, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Mardan, Pakistan
  • 5 Department of Pharmacy, Kohat University of Science & Technology, Kohat, Pakistan
  • 6 Department of Pharmacognosy (Medicinal Aromatic and Poisonous Plants Research Center), College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Drug Des Devel Ther, 2019;13:4195-4205.
PMID: 31849451 DOI: 10.2147/DDDT.S228971


Background: Cancer is one of the chronic health conditions worldwide. Various therapeutically active compounds from medicinal plants were the current focus of this research in order to uncover a treatment regimen for cancer. Anchusa arvensis (A. anchusa) (L.) M.Bieb. contains many biologically active compounds.

Methods: In the current study, new ester 3-hydroxyoctyl -5- trans-docosenoate (compound-1) was isolated from the chloroform soluble fraction of A. anchusa using column chromatography. Using MTT assay, the anticancer effect of the compound was determined in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG-2) compared with normal epithelial cell line (Vero). DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging assays were performed to assess the antioxidant potential. The Molecular Operating Environment (MOE-2016) tool was used against tyrosine kinase.

Results: The structure of the compound was elucidated based on IR, EI, and NMR spectroscopy technique. It exhibited a considerable cytotoxic effect against HepG-2 cell lines with IC50 value of 6.50 ± 0.70 µg/mL in comparison to positive control (doxorubicin) which showed IC50 value of 1.3±0.21 µg/mL. The compound did not show a cytotoxic effect against normal epithelial cell line (Vero). The compound also exhibited significant DPHH scavenging ability with IC50 value of 12 ± 0.80 µg/mL, whereas ascorbic acid, used as positive control, demonstrated activity with IC50 = 05 ± 0.15 µg/mL. Similarly, it showed ABTS radical scavenging ability (IC50 = 130 ± 0.20 µg/mL) compared with the value obtained for ascorbic acid (06 ± 0.85 µg/mL). In docking studies using MOE-2016 tool, it was observed that compound-1 was highly bound to tyrosine kinase by having two hydrogen bonds at the hinge region. This good bonding network by the compound might be one of the reasons for showing significant activity against this enzyme.

Conclusion: Our findings led to the isolation of a new compound from A. anchusa which has significant cytotoxic activity against HepG-2 cell lines with marked antioxidant potential.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.