Apoptosis-inducing galactolipids from a cultured marine diatom, Phaeodactylum tricornutum

J Nat Prod. 2008 Jul;71(7):1197-201. doi: 10.1021/np800124k. Epub 2008 Jun 21.


Two monogalactosyl diacylglycerols, 1 and 2, were isolated from the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, using the patented ApopScreen cell-based screen for apoptosis-inducing, potential anticancer compounds. The molecular structures of the galactolipids were determined using a combination of NMR, mass spectrometry, and chemical degradation. The bioactivities were confirmed using a specific apoptosis induction assay based on genetically engineered mammalian cell lines with differential, defined capacities for apoptosis. The galactolipids induce apoptosis in micromolar concentrations. This is the first report of apoptosis induction by galactolipids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Diatoms / chemistry*
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Galactolipids / chemistry
  • Galactolipids / isolation & purification*
  • Galactolipids / pharmacology*
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Mammals
  • Marine Biology
  • Molecular Structure


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Galactolipids
  • monogalactosyldiacylglycerol