New derivatives of 11-keto-β-boswellic acid (KBA) induce apoptosis in breast and prostate cancers cells

Asma Bini Araba, Najeeb Ur Rehman, Amna Al-Araimi, Sulaiman Al-Hashmi, Sulaiman Al-Shidhani, Rene Csuk, Hidayat Hussain, Ahmed Al-Harrasi, Fahad Zadjali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A series of new 11-keto-β-boswellic acid were partially-synthesized by modifying the hydroxyl and carboxylic acid functional groups of ring A. The structures of the new analogs were confirmed by detailed spectral data analysis. Compounds 4, 5 and 9 exhibited potent anti-cancer results against two human tumor cancer cell lines having IC50 value of MCF-7 (breast) and LNCaP (prostate): 123.6, 9.6 and 88.94 μM and 9.6, 44.12 and 12.03 μM, respectively. Additionally, a maximum nuclear fragmentation was observed for 4 (78.44%) in AKBA treated cells after 24 hr followed by 5 and 9 with (74.25 and 66.9% respectively). This study suggests that the presence of hydrazone functionality (4 and 9) has effectively improved the potency of AKBA. Interestingly, compound 5 with a lost carboxylic acid group of ring A showed comparable potent activity. Highly selective AKBA requires further modification to improve its bioavailability and solubility inside the cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-716
Number of pages10
JournalNatural Product Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • 11-keto-β-boswellic acid
  • 3-acetyl-11-Keto-β-boswellic acid
  • Boswellia sacra
  • breast cancer cell lines
  • normal cell lines
  • prostate cancer cell lines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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