2-Naphthoic acid ergosterol ester, an ergosterol derivative, exhibits anti-tumor activity by promoting apoptosis and inhibiting angiogenesis

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Phytosterol is a natural component of vegetable oil and includes ergosterol (ER) and β-sitosterol. In this study, three new ergosterol monoester derivatives were obtained from the reflux reaction with ergosterol, organic acids (furoic acid, salicylic acid, and 2-naphthoic acid), EDCI, and DMAP in dichloromethane. The chemical structures were defined by IR and NMR. On the basis of the results, 2-naphthoic acid ergosterol ester (NE) had the highest tumor inhibition rate and was selected to study anti-tumor activity and its mechanism at doses of 0.025 mmol/kg and 0.1 mmol/kg in H22-tumor bearing mice. Compared with ER, NE exhibited more stronger anti-tumor activity in vivo. Furthermore, biochemical parameters of ALT, AST, BUN, and CRE showed that NE had little toxicity to mice. NE significantly improved serum cytokine levels of IFN-γ and decreased VEGF levels. Moreover, H&E staining, TUNEL assay, immunohistochemistry, and western blotting indicated that NE exhibited anti-tumor activity in vivo by promoting apoptosis and inhibiting angiogenesis. In brief, the present study provided a method to improve ER anti-tumor activity and a reference for a new anti-tumor agent.

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