Alpha-Santalol, a Component of Sandalwood Oil Inhibits Migration of Breast Cancer Cells by Targeting the β-catenin Pathway

Anticancer Res. 2018 Aug;38(8):4475-4480. doi: 10.21873/anticanres.12750.


Background/aim: Alpha-santalol, a terpenoid found in sandalwood oil has been shown to inhibit breast cancer cell growth in vitro by inducing apoptosis, but the mechanisms underlying the growth inhibitory effects of alpha-santalol are not fully understood. In this study, we demonstrate that α-santalol treatment targets Wnt/β-catenin pathway to inhibit migration of cultured breast cancer cells.

Materials and methods: Migration assays, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence were used to examine the mechanism of action of a-santalol in breast cancer cells.

Results: Exposure of MDA-MB 231 and MCF-7 cells to α-santalol resulted in a significant reduction in their migratory potential and wound healing ability. In addition, α-santalol affected the localization of β-catenin from cytosol to nucleus in MDA-MB 231 cells.

Conclusion: Alpha-santalol inhibited migration of breast cancer cells may be mediated, in part, by targeting Wnt//β-catenin pathway. β-catenin represents an important target of α-santalol's response for future pre-clinical studies.

Keywords: Alpha-santalol; breast cancer; β-catenin.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology*
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / drug effects
  • Wound Healing / drug effects
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • Plant Oils
  • Polycyclic Sesquiterpenes
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • beta Catenin
  • santalol
  • sandalwood oil