Antiproliferative activity of the dimeric phloroglucinol and benzophenone derivatives of Hypericum spp. native to southern Brazil

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A large number of plants are known to possess strong antitumor properties. Previous studies have verified the antiproliferative activity of the extracts and fractions from six species of Hypericum spp. growing in southern Brazil. In the present study, the in-vitro antiproliferative effects of two dimeric phloroglucinols (japonicin A and uliginosin B, isolated from Hypericum myrianthum) and two benzophenones (cariphenone A and cariphenone B, isolated from H. carinatum) were investigated against three tumor cell lines (HT-29 – human colon carcinoma cells; U-251 – human glioma cell line, and OVCAR-3 – human ovarian carcinoma cells). In addition, different doses of these compounds were associated with cytotoxic drugs commonly used as chemotherapy in the clinic. Cariphenone A and cariphenone B showed moderate antiproliferative activity against all tumor cell lines at a dose of 100 μg/ml. Unlike benzophenones, japonicin A and uliginosin B exerted antiproliferative effects only in the OVCAR-3 cell line. Moreover, a very strong synergistic effect was demonstrated by the association of subeffective doses of japonicin A with the chemotherapeutic drug paclitaxel, decreasing cellular proliferation of the OVCAR-3 cell line. These preliminary results provide a scientific basis to further pursue these compounds as potential combined therapy for certain tumor types.

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