β-Caryophyllene, a compound isolated from the biblical balm of gilead (Commiphora gileadensis), is a selective apoptosis inducer for tumor cell lines

Eitan Amiel, Rivka Ofir, Nativ Dudai, Elaine Soloway, Tatiana Rabinsky, Shimon Rachmilevitch

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Abstract

The biblical balm of Gilead (Commiphora gileadensis) was investigated in this study for anticancerous activity against tumor cell lines. The results obtained from ethanol-based extracts and from essential oils indicated that -caryophyllene (trans-(1R,9S)-8-methylene-4,11,11-trimethylbicyclo[7.2.0]undec- 4-ene) is a key component in essential oils extracted from the balm of Gilead. -Caryophyllene can be found in spice blends, citrus flavors, soaps, detergents, creams, and lotions, as well as in a variety of food and beverage products, and it is known for its anti-inflammatory, local anaesthetic, and antifungal properties. It is also a potent cytotoxic compound over a wide range of cell lines. In the current paper, we found that Commiphora gileadensis stem extracts and essential oil have an antiproliferative proapoptotic effect against tumor cells and not against normal cells. -caryophyllene caused a potent induction of apoptosis accompanied by DNA ladder and caspase-3 catalytic activity in tumor cell lines. In summary, we showed that C. gileadensis stems contain an apoptosis inducer that acts, in a selective manner, against tumor cell lines and not against normal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number872394
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume2012
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 May 2012

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