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Molecules 2013, 18(8), 8945-8958; doi:10.3390/molecules18088945

Inhibitors of Urokinase Type Plasminogen Activator and Cytostatic Activity from Crude Plants Extracts

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, 205 Ave. Antonio R. Barcelo, Cayey, PR 00736, USA
2
Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico at Humacao, CUH Station, Humacao, PR 00792, USA
3
Institute for Functional Nanomaterials, University of Puerto Rico, Facundo Bueso Bldg., San Juan, PR 00931, USA
4
Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey, 205 Ave. Antonio R. Barcelo, Cayey, PR 00736, USA
Present address: School of Biotechnology and Food Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Tunxi Road 193, Hefei 230009, Anhui, China.
Present address: Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Av. Patria 1201, Lomas del Valle C.P. 45129, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 June 2013 / Revised: 12 July 2013 / Accepted: 24 July 2013 / Published: 26 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
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Abstract

In view of the clear evidence that urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) plays an important role in the processes of tumor cell metastasis, aortic aneurysm, and multiple sclerosis, it has become a target of choice for pharmacological intervention. The goal of this study was thus to determine the presence of inhibitors of uPA in plants known traditionally for their anti-tumor properties. Crude methanol extracts were prepared from the leaves of plants (14) collected from the subtropical dry forest (Guanica, Puerto Rico), and tested for the presence of inhibitors of uPA using the fibrin plate assay. The extracts that tested positive (6) were then partitioned with petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate and n-butanol, in a sequential manner. The resulting fractions were then tested again using the fibrin plate assay. Extracts from leaves of Croton lucidus (C. lucidus) showed the presence of a strong uPA inhibitory activity. Serial dilutions of these C. lucidus partitions were performed to determine the uPA inhibition IC50 values. The chloroform extract showed the lowest IC50 value (3.52 µg/mL) and hence contained the most potent uPA inhibitor. Further investigations revealed that the crude methanol extract and its chloroform and n-butanol partitions did not significantly inhibit closely related proteases such as the tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA) and plasmin, indicating their selectivity for uPA, and hence superior potential for medicinal use with fewer side effects. In a further evaluation of their therapeutic potential for prevention of cancer metastasis, the C. lucidus extracts displayed cytostatic activity against human pancreatic carcinoma (PaCa-2) cells, as determined through an MTS assay. The cytostatic activities recorded for each of the partitions correlated with their relative uPA inhibitory activities. There are no existing reports of uPA inhibitors being present in any of the plants reported in this study.
Keywords: urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA); uPA inhibitor; fibrin plate assay; Croton lucidus; metastasis; cytostatic activity urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA); uPA inhibitor; fibrin plate assay; Croton lucidus; metastasis; cytostatic activity
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zha, X.; Diaz, R.; Franco, J.J.R.; Sanchez, V.F.; Fasoli, E.; Barletta, G.; Carvajal, A.; Bansal, V. Inhibitors of Urokinase Type Plasminogen Activator and Cytostatic Activity from Crude Plants Extracts. Molecules 2013, 18, 8945-8958.

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