Isolation of apoptosis-inducing stilbenoids from four members of the Orchidaceae family

Planta Med. 2012 Jan;78(2):160-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1280293. Epub 2011 Oct 14.


High-throughput natural product research produced a suite of anticancer hits among several species of the Orchidaceae family (Oncidium microchilum, O. isthmi, and Myrmecophila humboldtii). A commercial Oncidium sp. was also examined as a convenient source of additional material. Isolation and structure elucidation led to the identification of fifteen stilbenoids including a new phenanthraquinone and two new dihydrostilbenes. NMR data for structure elucidation and dereplication were acquired utilizing a Bruker BioSpin TCI 1.7-mm MicroCryoProbe or a 5-μL CapNMR capillary microcoil. Several compounds inhibited proliferation of NCI-H460 and M14 cancer cell lines. All compounds were also examined for their ability to induce apoptosis. Apoptosis induction was determined by measuring caspase 3/7 activation and LDH release in a NCI-H460 cell line. Based on these results, a portion of the extract from a commercially available Oncidium sp. was chemically modified in an attempt to obtain additional phenanthraquinones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Caspase 7 / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Orchidaceae / chemistry*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Stilbenes / chemistry
  • Stilbenes / isolation & purification
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology
  • Stilbenes / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Plant Extracts
  • Stilbenes
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase 7