Turkish Journal of Botany




Onosma L., the largest genus of Boraginaceae, is represented by 105 species in Turkey with an endemism rate of 52%. Phytochemical studies indicate that Boraginaceae plants mainly comprise naphthoquinones with a wide range of biological activities including anticancer, antiinflammatory, wound healing, and antioxidant effects. However, few taxa of the genus Onosma have been investigated in detail for their bioactivities. Considering the high rate of endemism and an inadequate number of bioactivity screening studies in literature, we aimed to evaluate the cytotoxic effects and topoisomerase inhibitory activities of some Onosma species growing in southwestern Turkey. Here, we describe a comprehensive cytotoxic activity screening study on petroleum ether, dichloromethane, and methanol extracts of the roots of 20 identified and one unidentified Onosma taxa. The MTT cell viability assay has been performed to investigate the cytotoxicity of the extracts against seven cancer cell lines (MCF-7, HeLa, Hep G2, A549, Capan-1, HCC-1937, and DU-145) and a noncancerous cell line (MRC-5), while doxorubicin was served as a positive standard. The petroleum ether extracts of O. aksoyii Aytaç&Türkmen, O. isaurica Boiss. and Heldr.,O. taurica Pallas ex Willd. var. taurica and O. alborosea Fisch. & C.A. Mey subsp. alborosea var. alborosea were determined as the most active ones based on their IC50 values. DNA topoisomerase II? inhibition assay was conducted on the petroleum ether and dichloromethane extracts of these four active species, and almost all tested extracts demonstrated strong inhibition on the enzyme at a concentration of 0.1 mg/mL. Our cytotoxicity screening results were consistent with the findings of the topoisomerase II? inhibition test. This study advocates the significant role of Onosma species in the field of anticancer drug discovery.


Onosma, endemic, cytotoxic, bioactivity, screening, topoisomerase.

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