Terpenoid composition and the anticancer activity of Acanthopanax trifoliatus

Dong Li Li, Xi Zheng, Yu Chan Chen, Sen Jiang, Yuan Zhang, Wei Min Zhang, Hua Qian Wang, Zhi Yun Du, Kun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The petroleum ether and ethyl acetate fractions of extract from an edible and medicinal plant Acanthopanax trifoliatus were found to show significant inhibitory effects against SF-268, MCF-7, HepG2 and NCI-H460 cancer cells. Two new ursane-type triterpenoids, acantrifoic acid C (1) and acantrifoic acid D (2), along with five known triterpenoids (3-7) and eight known diterpenoids (8-15) were obtained from these two fractions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report concerning the isolation of compounds (5-12, 14, 15) from A. trifoliatus. Among all the isolated compounds, 3, 5 and 8 from the ethyl acetate fraction showed the strongest inhibitory effects against cancer cells, while 12 and 13 from the petroleum ether fraction showed moderate activities. These terpenoid compounds may be responsible for the anticancer activities of A. trifoliatus. Our study provides the first evidence that terpenoids from A. trifoliatus exert anticancer activities and indicates that A. trifoliatus may be a useful edible plant for further development of anticancer health supplement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Pharmacal Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry


  • Acanthopanax trifoliatus
  • Anticancer
  • Diterpenoids
  • Triterpenoids

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