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1.  In vitro antitumor actions of extracts from endemic plant Helichrysum zivojinii 
Background
The aim of this research was to determine the intensity and mechanisms of the cytotoxic actions of five extracts isolated from the endemic plant species Helichrysum zivojinii Černjavski & Soška (family Asteraceae) against specific cancer cell lines. In order to evaluate the sensitivity of normal immunocompetent cells implicated in the antitumor immune response, the cytotoxicity of extracts was also tested against healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).
Methods
The aerial parts of the plants were air-dried, powdered, and successively extracted with solvents of increasing polarity to obtain hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl-acetate, n-butanol and methanol extracts. The cytotoxic activities of the extracts against human cervix adenocarcinoma HeLa, human melanoma Fem-x, human myelogenous leukemia K562, human breast adenocarcinoma MDA-MB-361 cells and PBMC were evaluated by the MTT test. The mode of HeLa cell death was investigated by morphological analysis. Changes in the cell cycle of HeLa cells treated with the extracts were analyzed by flow cytometry. The apoptotic mechanisms induced by the tested extracts were determined using specific caspase inhibitors.
Results
The investigated Helichrysum zivojinii extracts exerted selective dose-dependent cytotoxic actions against selected cancer cell lines and healthy immunocompetent PBMC stimulated to proliferate, while the cytotoxic actions exerted on unstimulated PBMC were less pronounced. The tested extracts exhibited considerably stronger cytotoxic activities towards HeLa, Fem-x and K562 cells in comparison to resting and stimulated PBMC. It is worth noting that the cytotoxicity of the extracts was weaker against unstimulated PBMC in comparison to stimulated PBMC. Furthermore, each of the five extracts induced apoptosis in HeLa cells, through the activation of both intrinsic and extrinsic signaling pathways.
Conclusion
Extracts obtained from the endemic plant Helichrysum zivojinii may represent an important source of novel potential antitumor agents due to their pronounced and selective cytotoxic actions towards malignant cells.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-36
PMCID: PMC3585823  PMID: 23414290
Helichrysum zivojinii; Cytotoxicity; Cancer cells; Peripheral blood mononuclear cells; Apoptosis
2.  Serum activity of DPPIV and its expression on lymphocytes in patients with melanoma and in people with vitiligo 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:48.
Background
Dipeptidyl peptidase IV, a multifunctional serine protease, is implicated in regulation of malignant transformation, promotion and further progression of cancer, exerting tumor-suppressing or even completely opposite - tumor-promoting activities.
The aim of present research was to determine the serum DPPIV activity, as well as the percentages of CD26+ lymphocytes, CD26+ overall white blood cells and the mean fluorescence intensity of CD26 expression on lymphocytes in patients with melanoma, people with vitiligo and in healthy controls.
Methods
The activity of DPPIV in serum was determined by colorimetric test. Expression of DPPIV (as CD26) on immunocompetent peripheral white blood cells was done using flow cytometry analysis.
Results
Data from our study show for the first time statistically significant decrease: in the serum DPPIV activity, in the percentage of CD26+ overall white blood cells and in the percentage of lymphocytes in patients with melanoma in comparison to healthy control people. In addition, significantly lower serum DPPIV activity was found in the group of patients with melanoma in relation to people with vitiligo too.
Conclusion
This study indicates the need for exploring the cause and the importance of the disturbances in the serum DPPIV activity and in the CD26 expression on immunocompetent cells in complex molecular mechanisms underlying the development and progression of melanoma.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-13-48
PMCID: PMC3464610  PMID: 22908963
CD26 expression; DPPIV serum activity; Melanoma; Vitiligo
3.  Antiproliferative Activity of β-Hydroxy-β-Arylalkanoic Acids 
Article describes the synthesis of fifteen β-hydroxy-β-arylalkanoic acids by Reformatsky reaction using the 1-ethoxyethyl-2-bromoalkanoates, aromatic or cycloalkyl ketones or aromatic aldehydes. The short survey of previously reported synthetic procedures for title compounds, is given. The majority of obtained compounds exert antiproliferative activity in vitro toward human: HeLa, Fem-X cells, K562, and LS174 cells, having IC50 values from 62.20 to 205 μM. The most active compound is 3-OH-2,2-di-Me-3-(4- biphenylyl)-butanoic acid, having the IC50 value 62.20 μM toward HeLa cells. Seven examined compounds did not affect proliferation of healthy human blood peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMC and PBMC+ PHA), IC50 > 300 μM. The preliminary QSAR results show that estimated lipophilicity of compounds influences their antiproliferative activity in the first place. The ability of dehydration, and the spatial arrangement of hydrophobic portion, HBD and HBA in molecules are has almost equal importance as lipophilicity.
PMCID: PMC3685236
β-hydroxy-β-arylalkanoic acids; Reformatsky reaction; antiproliferative activity; human dedifferentiate cells; QSAR

Results 1-3 (3)