• Milk Thistle Extract Derivative with Strong Anti-Cancer Efficacy
  • Silybin or silibinin, is the milk thistle extract from milk thistle seeds, which is one of the popular dietary supplements. And it has been extensively studied for its antioxidant, hepatoprotective and anti-cancer properties.

    milk thistle extract
    Milk Thistle

    We have envisioned that potency of silybin could be further enhanced through suitable modification/s in its chemical structure. Accordingly, here, we synthesized and characterized a series of silybin derivatives namely 2,3-dehydrosilybin (DHS), 7-O-methylsilybin (7OM), 7-O-galloylsilybin (7OG), 7,23-disulphatesilybin (DSS), 7-O-palmitoylsilybin (7OP), and 23-O-palmitoylsilybin (23OP); and compared their anti-cancer efficacy using human bladder cancer HTB9, colon cancer HCT116 and prostate carcinoma PC3 cells. In all the 3 cell lines, DHS, 7OM and 7OG demonstrated better growth inhibitory effects and compared to silybin, while other silybin derivatives showed lesser or no efficacy.

    Next, we prepared the optical isomers (A and B) of silybin, DHS, 7OM and 7OG, and compared their anti-cancer efficacy. Isomers of these three silybin derivatives also showed better efficacy compared with respective silybin isomers, but in each, there was no clear cut silybin A versus B isomer activity preference.

    Further studies in HTB cells found that DHS, 7OM and 7OG exert better apoptotic activity than silibinin. Clonogenic assays in HTB9 cells further confirmed that both the racemic mixtures as well as pure optical isomers of DHS, 7OM and 7OG were more effective than silybin. Overall, these results clearly suggest that the anti-cancer efficacy of silybin could be significantly enhanced through structural modifications, and identify strong anti-cancer efficacy of silybin derivatives, namely DHS, 7OM, and 7OG, signifying that their efficacy and toxicity should be evaluated in relevant pre-clinical cancer models in rodents.

    Related plant extract applied in pharmaceutical field:

    Green tea extract, yohimbe bark extract, common cnidium extract, soybean extract, epimedium extract
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