In Vitro and in Vivo Antitumor Effects of Plant-Derived Miliusanes and Their Induction of Cellular Senescence
Our earliest phytochemical separation of Miliusa sinensis aided us in the isolation of a class of unique miliusanes, which were demonstrated as anticancer lead molecules. In the present study, we isolated 19 miliusanes (1–19), including 11 novel ones (5 and 10–19) from another Miliusa plant (M. balansae), and synthesized additional derivatives to elucidate the structure–activity relationship of miliusanes. When extrapolated to various carcinoma xenograft mouse models, miliusol (1) and its derivatives 20, 26, and 27 (7.5–40 mg/kg) were demonstrated with tumor inhibitory efficacy comparable or even superior to the mainstay chemotherapeutics paclitaxel or fluorouracil. To gain a molecular insight into their anticancer mechanism, 1–3 (GI50 0.03–4.79) were administered to a wide spectrum of human cancer cell lines, including those with specific drug resistance. We further revealed that the antiproliferative properties of miliusanes in carcinoma cells were highly associated with the p21-dependent induction of cellular senescence.