Decursin: A cytotoxic agent and protein kinase C activator from the root of Angelica gigas

Kyung Seop Ahn, Woong Seop Sim, Ik Hwan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


A cytotoxic compound was purified from the root of Angelica gigas Nakai by silica gel chromatography and preparative HPLC. As a result of the structure analysis by mass, IR, 1H-NMR, and 13C-NMR spectrometry, the effective compound was identified as decursin, a pyranocoumarin characterized originally from Angelica decursiva Fr. et Sav. In vitro cytotoxicity testing showed that decursin displayed toxic activity against various human cancer cell lines, for which the ED50 of decursin was about 5-16 μg/ml. On the other hand, decursin displayed relatively low cytotoxicity against normal fibroblasts. Decursin also activated protein kinase C (PKC) in vitro, which indicates that the cytotoxic activity of decursin may be related to the protein kinase C activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-9
Number of pages3
JournalPlanta Medica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Angelica gigas Nakai
  • cytotoxic activity
  • decursin
  • protein kinase C activation
  • umbelliferae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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