Cytotoxic profiling of artesunic and betulinic acids and their synthetic hybrid compound on neurons and gliomas

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Ackermann A, Capci Karagoez A, Ghoochani A, Buchfelder M, Eyüpoglu IY, Tsogoeva S, Savaskan N
Journal: Oncotarget
Publication year: 2017
Volume: 8
Journal issue: 37
Pages range: 61457-61474
ISSN: 1949-2553


Gliomas are brain-born tumors with devastating impact on their brain microenvironment. Novel approaches employ multiple combinations of chemical compounds in synthetic hybrid molecules to target malignant tumors. Here, we report on the chemical hybridization approach exemplified by artesunic acid (ARTA) and naturally occurring triterpene betulinic acid (BETA). Artemisinin derived semisynthetic compound artesunic acid (ARTA) and naturally occurring triterpene BETA were used to synthetically couple to the hybrid compound termed 212A. We investigated the impact of 212A and its parent compounds on glioma cells, astrocytes and neurons. ARTA and BETA showed cytotoxic effects on glioma cells at micromolar concentrations. ARTA was more effective on rodent glioma cells compared to BETA, whereas BETA exhibited higher toxic effects on human glioma cells compared to ARTA. We investigated these compounds on non-transformed glial cells and neurons as well. Noteworthy, ARTA showed almost no toxic effects on astrocytes and neurons, whereas BETA as well as 212A displayed neurotoxicity at higher concentrations. Hence we compared the efficacy of the hybrid 212A with the combinational treatment of its parent compounds ARTA and BETA. The hybrid 212A was efficient in killing glioma cells compared to single compound treatment strategies. Moreover, ARTA and the hybrid 212A displayed a significant cytotoxic impact on glioma cell migration. Taken together, these results demonstrate that both plant derived compounds ARTA and BETA operate gliomatoxic with minor neurotoxic side effects. Altogether, our proof-of-principle study demonstrates that the chemical hybrid synthesis is a valid approach for generating efficacious anti-cancer drugs out of virtually any given structure. Thus, synthetic hybrid therapeutics emerge as an innovative field for new chemotherapeutic developments with low neurotoxic profile.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Buchfelder, Michael Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Neurochirurgie
Capci Karagoez, Aysun
Lehrstuhl für Organische Chemie I
Eyüpoglu, Ilker Yasin Prof. Dr.
Neurochirurgische Klinik
Ghoochani, Ali
Neurochirurgische Klinik
Tsogoeva, Svetlana Prof. Dr.
Professur für Organische Chemie

How to cite

Ackermann, A., Capci Karagoez, A., Ghoochani, A., Buchfelder, M., Eyüpoglu, I.Y., Tsogoeva, S., & Savaskan, N. (2017). Cytotoxic profiling of artesunic and betulinic acids and their synthetic hybrid compound on neurons and gliomas. Oncotarget, 8(37), 61457-61474.

Ackermann, Annemarie, et al. "Cytotoxic profiling of artesunic and betulinic acids and their synthetic hybrid compound on neurons and gliomas." Oncotarget 8.37 (2017): 61457-61474.


Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 07:20