Despite significant progress in oncology therapeutics in the last decades, the urge to discover and to develop new, alternative or synergistic anti-cancer agents still remains. For centuries it has been known that the coarse shrub Calotropis procera is a very promising source of ascaricidal, schizonticidal, anti-bacterial, anthelmintic, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrhoeal, larvicidal and cytotoxic chemicals. Different compounds like norditerpenic esters, organic carbonates, the cysteine protease procerain, alkaloids, flavonoids, sterols as well as numerous types of cardenolides have provided this plant for centuries with scientists' interest. The chemical class of cardenolides and their related bioactivity evaluation and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies pointed out their therapeutic utility and led to the discovery of promising drug candidates. Recently the cardiotonic steroid UNBS1450 01 (derived from 2-oxovoruscharin 02) from C. procera was shown to additionally exert an anti-cancer activity. UNBS1450 01 has been proven to be a potent sodium pump inhibitor, showing anti-proliferative and cell death-inducing activities. This anti-cancer potential of UNBS1450 01 is achieved by disorganization of the actin cytoskeleton after binding to the sodium pump at the cellular membrane, by inducing autophagy-related cell death, by repressing NF-κB activation as well as by down-regulating c-Myc in cancer cells. We aim to review pharmacologically important chemical extracts from C. procera and focus more specifically on the anti-cancer activities of UNBS1450 01. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Juncker, T., Schumacher, M., Dicato, M., & Diederich, M. (2009, July 1). UNBS1450 from Calotropis procera as a regulator of signaling pathways involved in proliferation and cell death. Biochemical Pharmacology. Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bcp.2009.01.018