Niu QL, et al. PLoS One 2020.
As a traditional Chinese medicine, Croton tiglium has the characteristics of laxative, analgesic, antibacterial and swelling. This study aimed to analyze the chemical composition of C. tiglium essential oil (CTEO) extracted from the seeds of C. tiglium and its cytotoxicity and antitumor effect in vitro. Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction technology was used to extract CTEO and the chemical constituents of the essential oil were identified by comparing the retention indices and mass spectra data
taken from the NIST library with those calculated based on the C7-C40 n-alkanes standard. In vitro cytotoxicity of the CTEO was assessed against cancer cell lines (A549) and the human normal bronchial epithelial cells (HBE) using the CCK-8 assay. Proliferation was detected by colony formation experiments. Wound scratch and cell invasion assays were used to detect cell migration and invasion. Levels of apoptotic markers, signaling molecules, and cell cycle regulators expression were characterized by Western blot analysis. As the results, twenty-eight compounds representing 92.39% of the total oil were identified in CTEO. The CTEO has significant antitumor activity on A549 cancer cells (IC50 48.38 μg/mL). In vitro antitumor experiments showed that CTEO treatment significantly inhibited the proliferation and migration of A549 cells, disrupted the cell cycle process, and reduced the expression levels of cyclin A, cyclin B and CDK1. CTEO can also reduce mitochondrial membrane potential, activate caspase-dependent apoptosis pathway, and finally induce apoptosis. CTEO may become an effective anti-cancer drug and will be further developed for cancer treatment.