Cytotoxic lignans from Larrea tridentata

Joshua D. Lambert, Shengmin Sang, Ann Dougherty, Colby G. Caldwell, Ross O. Meyers, Robert T. Dorr, Barbara N. Timmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Six lignans, including the cyclolignan 3,4′-dihydroxy-3′, 4′-dimethoxy-6,7′-cyclolignan, were isolated from the flowering tops of Larrea tridentata. Additionally the flavanone, (S)-4′,5-dihydroxy-7- methoxyflavanone, was isolated for the first time from L. tridentata or any member of the family Zygophyllaceae. All of the compounds were assessed for their growth inhibitory activity against human breast cancer, human colon cancer and human melanoma cell lines. The lignans had IC50 values of 5-60 μM with the linear butane-type lignans being the most potent, and it was found that colon cancer cells were the least sensitive cell type tested. The relative potency of linear butane type lignans against human breast cancer appears to correlate positively with the number of O-methyl groups present on the molecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-815
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Cancer
  • Creosote bush
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Flavanone
  • Larrea tridentata
  • Lignans
  • Zygophyllaceae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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