Novel flourescent spiroborate esters: potential therapeutic agents in in vitro cancer models

  • S. Anjana
  • Josna Joseph
  • Jeena John
  • S. Balachandran
  • T. R. Santhosh Kumar
  • Annie Abraham
Original Article


The current treatment system in cancer therapy, which includes chemotherapy/radiotherapy is expensive and often deleterious to surrounding healthy tissue. Presently, several medicinal plants and their constituents are in use to manage the development and progression of these diseases.They have been found effective, safe, and less expensive. In the present study, we are proposing the utility of a new class of curcumin derivative, Rubrocurcumin, the spiroborate ester of curcumin with boric acid and oxalic acid (1:1:1), which have enhanced biostability for therapeutic applications. In vitro cytocompatibility of this drug complex was analysed using MTT assay, neutral red assay, lactate dehydrogenase assay in 3T3L1 adipocytes. Anti tumour activity of this drug complex on MCF7 and A431 human cancer cell line was studied by morphological analysis using phase contrast microscopy, Hoechst staining and cell cycle analysis by FACS. To explore the chemotherapeutic effect, the cytotoxic effect of this compound was also carried out. Rubrocurcumin is more biostable than natural curcumin in physiological medium. Our results prove that this curcumin derivative drug complex possess more efficacy and anti-cancer activity compared with curcumin. The findings out of this study suggests this novel compound as potential candidate for site targeted drug delivery.


Curcumin Skin cancer Drug delivery Natural product Anti-cancer agent 



The first author acknowledges Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for the award of Senior Research fellowship to carry out this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyUniversity of KeralaThiruvananthapuramIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of KeralaThiruvananthapuramIndia
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryMG CollegeThiruvananthapuramIndia
  4. 4.Rajiv Gandhi Centre for BiotechnologyThiruvananthapuramIndia

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