A novel synthetic oleanolic acid derivative with amino acid conjugate suppresses tumour growth by inducing cell cycle arrest
Oleanolic acid (3beta-hydroxy-olean-12-en-28-oic acid; OA) has a wide variety of bioactivities and is used for medicinal purposes in many Asian countries. Various derivatives of OA have been synthesized in attempts to improve the potency. Here we describe the anti-tumour activity of a novel OA derivative, N-[(3beta)-3-(acetyloxy)-28-oxoolean-12-en-28-yl]-glycine methyl ester (AOA-GMe). AOAGMe was a more potent inhibitor of the growth of B16 melanoma cells than its parent compound OA, both in-vitro and in-vivo. AOA-GMe also exhibited dose-dependent inhibition of human K562 leukaemia cells, but had almost no toxicity in normal human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. AOA-GMe induced cell cycle arrest in G0/G1 and blocked G1-S transition, which correlated well with marked decreases in levels of cyclin D, cyclin-dependent kinase CDK4 and phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein, and increases in the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p15. OA did not show such activities. These results suggest that AOA-GMe may induce growth arrest in tumour cells through regulation of proteins involved in the cell cycle.