Fractionation of a Herbal Antidiarrheal Medicine Reveals Eugenol as an Inhibitor of Ca2+-Activated Cl− Channel TMEM16A
Yao Z, Namkung W, Ko EA, Park J, Tradtrantip L, et al. (2012) Fractionation of a Herbal Antidiarrheal Medicine Reveals Eugenol as an Inhibitor of Ca2+-Activated Cl− Channel TMEM16A. PLoS ONE 7(5): e38030. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038030
The Ca2+-activated Cl− channel TMEM16A is involved in epithelial fluid secretion, smooth muscle contraction and neurosensory signaling. We identified a Thai herbal antidiarrheal formulation that inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance. C18-reversed-phase HPLC fractionation of the herbal formulation revealed >98% of TMEM16A inhibition activity in one out of approximately 20 distinct peaks. The purified, active compound was identified as eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol), the major component of clove oil. Eugenol fully inhibited TMEM16A Cl− conductance with single-site IC50~150 µM. Eugenol inhibition of TMEM16A in interstitial cells of Cajal produced strong inhibition of intestinal contraction in mouse ileal segments. TMEM16A Cl− channel inhibition adds to the list of eugenol molecular targets and may account for some of its biological activities.

Antiproliferative and Molecular Mechanism of Eugenol-Induced Apoptosis in Cancer Cells
Saravana Kumar Jaganathan and Eko Supriyanto. Molecules 2012, 17, 6290-6304; doi:10.3390/molecules17066290
Phenolic phytochemicals are a broad class of nutraceuticals found in plants which have been extensively researched by scientists for their health-promoting potential. One such a compound which has been comprehensively used is eugenol (4-allyl-2-methoxyphenol), which is the active component of Syzigium aromaticum (cloves). Aromatic plants like nutmeg, basil, cinnamon and bay leaves also contain eugenol. Eugenol has a wide range of applications like perfumeries, flavorings, essential oils and in medicine as a local antiseptic and anesthetic. Increasing volumes of literature showed eugenol possesses antioxidant, antimutagenic, antigenotoxic, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Molecular mechanism of eugenol-induced apoptosis in melanoma, skin tumors, osteosarcoma, leukemia, gastric and mast cells has been well documented. This review article will highlight the antiproliferative activity and molecular mechanism of the eugenol induced apoptosis against the cancer cells and animal models.

Apoptotic effect of eugenol in human colon cancer cell lines.
Jaganathan SK, Mazumdar A, Mondhe D, Mandal M. Cell Biol Int. 2011 Jun;35(6):607-15.
Eugenol, a natural compound available in honey and various plants extracts including cloves and Magnoliae flos, is exploited for various medicinal applications. Since most of the drugs used in the cancer are apoptotic inducers, the apoptotic effect and anticancer mechanism of eugenol were investigated against colon cancer cells. Antiproliferative effect was estimated using MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay]. Earlier events like MMP (mitochondrial membrane potential), thiol depletion and lipid layer break were measured by using flow cytometry. Apoptosis was evaluated using PI (propidium iodide) staining, TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling) assay and DNA fragmentation assay. MTT assay signified the antiproliferative nature of eugenol against the tested colon cancer cells. PI staining indicated increasing accumulation of cells at sub-G1-phase. Eugenol treatment resulted in reduction of intracellular non-protein thiols and increase in the earlier lipid layer break. Further events like dissipation of MMP and generation of ROS (reactive oxygen species) were accompanied in the eugenol-induced apoptosis. Augmented ROS generation resulted in the DNA fragmentation of treated cells as shown by DNA fragmentation and TUNEL assay. Further activation of PARP (polyadenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase), p53 and caspase-3 were observed in Western blot analyses. Our results demonstrated molecular mechanism of eugenol-induced apoptosis in human colon cancer cells. This research will further enhance eugenol as a potential chemopreventive agent against colon.

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