Isolation ofepi-oleanolic acid from korean mistletoe and its apoptosis-lnducing activity in tumor cells

  • Myung Ju Jung
  • Yung Choon Yoo
  • Kyung Bok Lee
  • Jong Bae Kim
  • Kyung Sik SongEmail author
Research Articles Articles


A triterpene was isolated as a cytotoxic principle from the dichloromethane extract of Korean mistletoe (KM;Viscum album coloratum) by repeated silica gel chromatography and recrystallization. Inin vitro analysis of cytotoxic activity using various human and murine tumor cell lines, the dichloromethane extract of KM was highly cytotoxic against these cells. We isolated the most active compound, referred to VD-3, from the dichloromethane extract of KM. The VD-3 was shown to be less cytotoxic to normal cells (murine splenocytes). From the identification of the chemical structure of VD-3 by spectral data and chemical synthesis, the compound was proven to beepi-oleanolic acid. Tumor cells treated with VD-3 showed a typical pattern of apoptotic cell death, such as apparent morphological changes and DNA fragmentation. These results indicate thatepi-oleanolic acid is an important compound responsible for antitumor activity of KM.

Key words

Korean mistletoe epi-Oleanolic acid Antitumor activity Apoptosis 


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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Myung Ju Jung
    • 1
  • Yung Choon Yoo
    • 2
  • Kyung Bok Lee
    • 3
  • Jong Bae Kim
    • 4
  • Kyung Sik Song
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Applied Biology and Chemistry, College of Agriculture and Life SciencesKyungpook National UniversityDaeguKorea
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, School of MedicineKonyang UniversityNonsanKorea
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, School of MedicineKonyang UniversityNonsanKorea
  4. 4.Department of Biotechnology and Food ScienceHan Dong UniversityPohangKorea

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