Limonoids with Wnt signal inhibitory activity isolated from the fruits of Azadirachta excelsa

Rolly G. Fuentes, Kazufumi Toume, Midori A. Arai, Samir K. Sadhu, Firoj Ahmed, Masami Ishibashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The Wnt signal regulates various biological processes, and its aberrant activation is associated with the development of diseases. Thus, inhibiting the Wnt signal provides a promising strategy to treat these diseases. Our cell-based luciferase assay system, which targets the Wnt signal (TOP assay), revealed that Azadirachta excelsa inhibited the Wnt signal. The activity-guided isolation of the MeOH fruit extract of A. excelsa provided one new (1) and seven known (2-8) limonoids. Their structures were elucidated based on their spectroscopic data, and their NMR data were compared with those in the literature. Compounds 3-6 potently inhibited the Wnt signal with IC50 values of 127 nM, 300 nM, 252 nM, and 121 nM, respectively. Compound 4 exhibited selective cytotoxicity against AGS and HCT116. Western blot analysis showed that 4 did not affect the level or localization of β-catenin, but downregulated the level of c-myc. Our results suggested that 4 may have inhibited the Wnt signal by affecting the components downstream of β-catenin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-285
Number of pages6
JournalPhytochemistry Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Adenomatous polyposis coli
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Limonoids
  • β-Catenin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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