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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 341724, 14 pages
Research Article

Cytotoxicity and Pharmacogenomics of Medicinal Plants from Traditional Korean Medicine

1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, Cameroon
2Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Johannes Gutenberg University, Staudinger Weg 5, 55128 Mainz, Germany
3HanseMerkur Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
4Biomedical Sciences Institute Abel Salazar, University of Porto, Portugal
5Heidelberg School of Chinese Medicine, Heidelberg, Germany
6College of Pharmacy, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Republic of Korea

Received 25 March 2013; Accepted 24 April 2013

Academic Editor: Sookyung Lee

Copyright © 2013 Victor Kuete et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. The present study was designed to investigate the cytotoxicity of a panel of 280 Korean medicinal plants belonging to 73 families and 198 species against human CCRF-CEM leukemia cells. Selected phytochemicals were investigated in more detail for their mode of action. Methods. The resazurin assay was used to determine cytotoxicity of the plant extracts. Microarray-based mRNA expression profiling, COMPARE, and hierarchical cluster analyses were applied to identify which genes correlate with sensitivity or resistance to selected phytochemicals of the Korean plants. Results. The results of the resazurin assay showed that cytotoxicity extracts tested at 10 μg/mL from 13 samples inhibited proliferation more than 50% ( μg/mL) and the most active plants are Sedum middendorffianum (15.33%) and Lycoris radiata (17.61%). Out of 13 selected phytochemicals from these plants, hopeaphenol and deoxynarciclasine were the most cytotoxic ones. Genes from various functional groups (transcriptional or translational regulation, signal transduction, cellular proliferation, intracellular trafficking, RNA metabolism, endoplasmic/sarcoplasmic reticulum function, etc.) were significantly correlated with response of tumor cell lines to these two compounds. Conclusion. The results provide evidence on the possible use of selected Korean medicinal plants and chemical constituents derived from them for the treatment of tumors.