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Cytotoxic Quinones from the roots of Aloe dawei

Journal article
Authors Negera Abdissa
Martha Induli
Paul A. Fitzpatrick
John Patrick Alao
Per Sunnerhagen
Göran Landberg
Abiy Yenesew
Mate Erdelyi
Published in Molecules
Volume 19
Issue 3
Pages 3264-3273
ISSN 1420-3049
Publication year 2014
Published at Sahlgrenska Cancer Center
Swedish NMR Centre at Göteborg University
Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 3264-3273
Language en
Keywords Aloe dawei; Asphodelaceae; naphthoquinone; anthraquinone; 6-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone; cytotoxicity; MCF-7
Subject categories Organic Chemistry, Pharmacognosy, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical chemistry


Seven naphthoquinones and nine anthraquinones were isolated from the roots of Aloe dawei by chromatographic separation. The purified metabolites were identified by NMR and MS analyses. Out of the sixteen quinones, 6-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxy-2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone is a new compound. Two of the isolates, 5,8-dihydroxy-3-methoxy-2-methylnaphthalene-1,4-dione and 1-hydroxy-8-methoxy-3-methylanthraquinone showed high cytotoxic activity (IC50 1.15 and 4.85 µM) on MCF-7 breast cancer cells, whereas the others showed moderate to low cytotoxic activity against MDA-MB-231 (ER Negative) and MCF-7 (ER Positive) cancer cells.

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