Ajugalide-B (ATMA) is an anoikis-inducing agent from Ajuga taiwanensis with antiproliferative activity against tumor cells in vitro.
ABSTRACT Ajuga taiwanensis is widely used for the treatment of hepatitis and hepatoma in Taiwanese folk medicine. However, its bioactive components and mechanism of action are unclear. Herein, ajugalide-B (ATMA), a neoclerodane diterpenoid isolated from Ajuga taiwanensis, is reported to exhibit high anti-proliferative activity against tumor cell lines from various tissues. These results demonstrate that ATMA disrupts the focal adhesion complex by decreasing phosphorylation of paxillin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK). As a result, anoikis, a specific type of apoptosis caused by detachment of cells, is triggered by activation of caspase-8 in A549 cells. Furthermore, ATMA also blocks anchorage-independent growth and cell migration and, therefore, ATMA may serve as a lead compound for the developing of anti-cancer therapeuties with anoikis-inducing properties.