BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have found that constituents from the flower of the Aquilaria sinensis (Lour.) Spreng show antitumor activities, according to the Kunming Institute of Botany under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Aquilaria sinensis (Lour.) Spreng is an important plant resource used in the production of the Chinese medicine agarwood and is widely distributed in southern China.
When the researchers screened anti-cancer drugs, they discovered that the ethanol extract of the Aquilaria sinensis flower exhibited significant activities inhibiting lung cancer, cervical cancer, neuroblastoma and ovarian cancer, among others, according to a study published in the journal Natural Products and Bioprospecting.
Through the bioassay-guided fractionation of the ethanol extract, researchers found that a new cucurbitane-type triterpenoid, aquilarolide A, showed significant cytotoxic activities against human lung adenocarcinoma SPC-A-1, human lung squamous cell carcinoma NCI-H520 and human lung adenocarcinoma A549.
The study provides new insight for the development and utilization of Aquilaria sinensis, the researchers said. ■