Planta Med 1996; 62(1): 7-9
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-957785

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Decursin: A Cytotoxic Agent and Protein Kinase C Activator from the Root of Angelica gigas

Kyung-Seop Ahn1 , 2 , Woong-Seop Sim2 , Ik-Hwan Kim1
  • 1Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, KIST, P.O. Box 115, Yusong, Taejon 305-600, Republic of Korea
  • 2Department of Biology, Korea University, Seoul 136-701, Republic of Korea
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Publication History



Publication Date:
04 January 2007 (online)


A cytotoxic compound was purified from the root of Angelica gigas Nakai by silica gel chromatography and preparative HPLC. As a result of the structure analysis by mass, IR, 1H-NMR, and 13C-NMR spectrometry, the effective compound was identified as decursin, a pyranocoumarin characterized originally from Angelica decursiva Fr. et Sav. In vitro cytotoxicity testing showed that decursin displayed toxic activity against various human cancer cell lines, for which the ED50 of decursin was about 5-16 µg/ml. On the other hand, decursin displayed relatively low cytotoxicity against normal fibroblasts. Decursin also activated protein kinase C (PKC) in vitro, which indicates that the cytotoxic activity of decursin may be related to the protein kinase C activation.