Rhodea japonica, Roth. wan nian qing 萬 年 青

Researchers from University of Tokushima, Japan, found extracts of Rhodea
japonica re cytotoxic. The main ingredient contributing the cytotoxity of Rhodea
japonica is rhoexin A. The IC(50) value for rhodexin A against the growth of
human leukemia K562 cells was 19 nM. [1] Rhodexin A at 30 nM started to
attenuate growth without affecting viability and further increases in the
concentration of rhodexin A (100 nM or more) completely inhibited growth with
decreasing viability. Rhodexin A at 30-100 nM increased the G(2)M population,
but decreased the G(0)G(1) population, suggesting cell cycle arrest in the G(2)M
phase. Rhodexin A at 100 nM increased the number of cells with hypodiploid
DNA, indicating that rhodexin A induced apoptosis.[2] Thus, rhodexin A may
benefit people at risk of cancer or be candidate for chemotherapy. But, lots more
clinical studies are needed to prove if it is really effective in use for cancer
prevention or treatment.


[1] K, Kuninaga H, Nishizato Y, Nonaka A. [masuda@ias.tokushima-u.ac.jp ]
Cytotoxic screening of medicinal and edible plants in Okinawa, Japan, and
identification of the main toxic constituent of Rhodea japonica (Omoto). Biosci
Biotechnol Biochem. 2003 Jun;67(6):1401-4. [2] Umebayashi C, Yamamoto N,
Nakao H, Toi Y, Chikahisa-Muramatsu L, Kanemaru K, Masuda T, Oyama Y.,
Flow cytometric estimation of cytotoxic activity of rhodexin A isolated from
Rhodea japonica in human leukemia K562 cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 May;26
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