Author(s): Rosenkranz V, Wink M
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Abstract The potential induction of a programmed cell death (PCD) in Trypanosoma b. brucei by 55 alkaloids of the quinoline, quinolizidine, isoquinoline, indole, terpene, tropane, steroid, and piperidine type was studied by measuring DNA fragmentation and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential. For comparison, the induction of apoptosis by the same alkaloids in human leukemia cells (Jurkat APO-S) was tested. Several alkaloids of the isoquinoline, quinoline, indole and steroidal type (berberine, chelerythrine, emetine, sanguinarine, quinine, ajmalicine, ergotamine, harmine, vinblastine, vincristine, colchicine, chaconine, demissidine and veratridine) induced programmed cell death, whereas quinolizidine, tropane, terpene and piperidine alkaloids were mostly inactive. Effective PCD induction (EC(50) below 10 microM) was caused in T. brucei by chelerythrine, emetine, sanguinarine, and chaconine. The active alkaloids can be characterized by their general property to inhibit protein biosynthesis, to intercalate DNA, to disturb membrane fluidity or to inhibit microtubule formation.
This article was published in Molecules
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology