Abietane diterpenes from Salvia miltiorrhiza inhibit the activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1

Tien Dat Nguyen, Xuejun Jin, Jeong Hyung Lee, Dongho Lee, Young Soo Hong, Kyeong Lee, Ho Kim Young, Joon Lee Jung

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65 Citations (Scopus)


The hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) has been known to be correlated to the adaptation and proliferation of tumor cells; therefore HIF-1 has become an important target in the development of anticancer drugs. A phytochemical study of the CHCl3-soluble fraction of Salvia miltiorrhiza, which strongly inhibited hypoxia-induced reporter gene expression, led to the isolation of 12 abietane-type diterpenes. Of these compounds, sibiriquinone A (1), sibiriquinone B (2), cryptotanshinone (3), and dihydrotanshinone I (4) potently inhibited hypoxia-induced luciferase expression with IC50 values of 0.34, 3.36, 1.58, and 2.05 μM on AGS cells, a human gastric cancer cell line, and 0.28, 3.18, 1.36, and 2.29 μM on Hep3B cells, a human hepatocarcinoma cell line, respectively. Consistently, 1 and 4 dose-dependently suppressed the HIF-1α accumulation and 1 inhibited mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) under hypoxia. These results suggest that the anticancer activity of tanshinones is likely at least in part associated with their inhibition of HIF-1 accumulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1097
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry


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