Anti-cancer Properties of a Sesquiterpene Lactone-bearing Fraction from Artemisia khorassanica

  • Rabe, Shahrzad Taghizadeh (Immunology Research Center, Bu-Ali Research Institute, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Science) ;
  • Emami, Seyed Ahmad (Department of Pharmacognosy, Mashhad University of Medical Science) ;
  • Iranshahi, Mehrdad (Biotechnology Research Center, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Science) ;
  • Rastin, Maryam (Immunology Research Center, Bu-Ali Research Institute, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Science) ;
  • Tabasi, Nafise (Immunology Research Center, Bu-Ali Research Institute, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Science) ;
  • Mahmoudi, Mahmoud (Immunology Research Center, Bu-Ali Research Institute, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Science)
  • Published : 2015.03.04


Background: Artemisia species are important medicinal plants throughout the world. The present in vitro study, using a sesquiterpene lactone-bearing fraction prepared from Artemisia khorassanica (SLAK), sought to investigate anti-cancer properties of this plant and elucidate potential underlying mechanisms for the effects. Materials and Methods: Anti-cancer potential was evaluated by toxicity against human melanoma and fibroblast cell lines. To explore the involved pathways, pattern of any cell death was determined using annexin-V/PI staining and also the expression of Bax and cytochrome c was investigated by Western blotting. Results: The results showed that SLAK selectively caused a concentration-related inhibition of proliferation of melanoma cells that was associated with remarkable increase in early events and over-expression of both Bax and cytochrome c. Conclusions: The current experiment indicates that Artemisia may have anti-cancer activity. We anticipate that the ingredients may be employed as therapeutic candidates for melanoma.


Supported by : Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS)


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