Multiple anticancer effects of damsin and coronopilin isolated from ambrosia arborescens on cell cultures

Rodrigo Villagomez, Gloria C. Rodrigo, Isidro G. Collado, Marco A. Calzado, Eduardo Muñoz, Björn Akesson, Olov Sterner, Giovanna R. Almanza, Rui Dong Duan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Terpenoids in plants are important sources for drug discovery. In this study, we extracted damsin and coronopilin, two sesquiterpene lactones, from Ambrosia arborescens and examined their anticancer effects on cell cultures. Damsin and coronopilin inhibited cell proliferation, DNA biosynthesis and formation of cytoplasmic DNA histone complexes in Caco-2 cells, with damsin being more potent than coronopilin. Further studies using the luciferase reporter system showed that damsin and coronopilin also inhibited expressions of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3), indicating that these sesquiterpenes can interfere with NF-κB and STAT3 pathways. Finally, we examined the effects of two synthetic dibrominated derivatives of damsin, 11α,13-dibromodamsin and 11β,13-dibromodamsin. While bromination appeared to weaken the antiproliferative effects of damsin, the β epimer had strong inhibitory effects on STAT3 activation. In conclusion, the sesquiterpene lactones damsin and coronopilin have inhibitory effects on cell proliferation, DNA biosynthesis and NF-κB and STAT3 pathways, thus being potentially important for discovery of drugs against cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3799-3806
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Ambrosia arborescens
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell proliferation
  • Chemoselective bromination
  • Coronopilin
  • Damsin
  • NF-κB
  • STAT3
  • Sesquiterpenes


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