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Scoulerine; (S)-Scoulerine; (-)-Scoulerine


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Scoulerine is an isoquinoline alkaloid, which indicated promising suppression of cancer cells growth. However, the mode of action (MOA) remained unclear. Cytotoxic and antiproliferative properties were determined in this study. Scoulerine reduces the mitochondrial dehydrogenases activity of the evaluated leukemic cells with IC50 values ranging from 2.7 to 6.5 ?M. The xCELLigence system revealed that scoulerine exerted potent antiproliferative activity in lung, ovarian and breast carcinoma cell lines. Jurkat and MOLT-4 leukemic cells treated with scoulerine were decreased in proliferation and viability. Scoulerine acted to inhibit proliferation through inducing G2 or M-phase cell cycle arrest, which correlates well with the observed breakdown of the microtubule network, increased Chk1 Ser345, Chk2 Thr68 and mitotic H3 Ser10 phosphorylation. Scoulerine was able to activate apoptosis, as determined by p53 upregulation, increase caspase activity, Annexin V and TUNEL labeling. Results highlight the potent antiproliferative and proapoptotic function of scoulerine in cancer cells caused by its ability to interfere with the microtubule elements of the cytoskeleton, checkpoint kinase signaling and p53 proteins. This is the first study of the mechanism of scoulerine at cellular and molecular level. Scoulerine is a potent antimitotic compound and that it merits further investigation as an anticancer drug.


Scoulerine affects microtubule structure, inhibits proliferation, arrests cell cycle and thus culminates in the apoptotic death of cancer cells.


Habartova K, Havelek R, Seifrtova M, Kralovec K, Cahlikova L, Chlebek J, Cermakova E, Mazankova N, Marikova J, Kunes J, Novakova L, Rezacova M.

Publish date

2018 Mar 19




Methamphetamine (METH), a substance with a high potential for abuse and addiction, is a serious worldwide public health problem. METH addicts often show extreme paranoia, anxiety, and depression. Thus, there is no effective medication for the treatment of METH-induced abnormalities. In the present study, we investigated the effects of l-Scoulerine (l-SLR), a tetrahydroprotoberberine (THPBS) alkaloid, on METH-induced anxiety-like behaviour in zebrafish and METH-induced addictive behavior in mice. In the novel tank test, acute administration of METH (2 mg/L) induced a significant decrease in the number of total vertical transitions and time spent in the upper zone. Moreover, METH produced significant avoidance behaviour showing increased swimming time in the central area and high speed movement in the mirror area in the mirror stimulation test; these anxiety-like changes were attenuated by l-SLR. Chronic administration of METH (2 mg/kg) produced a steady increase in locomotor activity and conditioned place preference in mice. l-SLR (5 mg/kg) failed to reduce acute METH-induced hyperlocomotion, but attenuated chronic METH-induced behavioural sensitization and significantly blocked the expression of conditioned place preference induced by METH in mice. The present study suggests that l-SLR may be a promising agent for the treatment of addiction and anxiety induced by METH.

Copyright ? 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Conditioned place preference; Methamphetamine; Sensitization; Zebrafish


l-Scoulerine attenuates behavioural changes induced by methamphetamine in zebrafish and mice.


Mi G, Gao Y, Yan H, Jin X, Ye E, Liu S, Gong Z, Yang H, Yang Z.

Publish date

2016 Feb 1




Transcriptome resources for the medicinal plant Glaucium flavum were searched for orthologs showing identity with characterized O-methyltransferases (OMTs) involved in benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis. Seven recombinant proteins were functionally tested using the signature alkaloid substrates for six OMTs: norlaudanosoline 6-OMT, 6-O-methyllaudanosoline 4′-OMT, reticuline 7-OMT, norreticuline 7-OMT, scoulerine 9-OMT, and tetrahydrocolumbamine OMT. A notable alkaloid in yellow horned poppy (G. flavum [GFL]) is the aporphine alkaloid glaucine, which displays C8-C6′ coupling and four O-methyl groups at C6, C7, C3′, and C4′ as numbered on the 1-benzylisoquinoline scaffold. Three recombinant enzymes accepted 1-benzylisoquinolines with differential substrate and regiospecificity. GFLOMT2 displayed the highest amino acid sequence identity with norlaudanosoline 6-OMT, showed a preference for the 6-O-methylation of norlaudanosoline, and O-methylated the 3′ and 4′ hydroxyl groups of certain alkaloids. GFLOMT1 showed the highest sequence identity with 6-O-methyllaudanosoline 4’OMT and catalyzed the 6-O-methylation of norlaudanosoline, but more efficiently 4′-O-methylated the GFLOMT2 reaction product 6-O-methylnorlaudanosoline and its N-methylated derivative 6-O-methyllaudanosoline. GFLOMT1 also effectively 3′-O-methylated both reticuline and norreticuline. GFLOMT6 was most similar to scoulerine 9-OMT and efficiently catalyzed both 3′- and 7′-O-methylations of several 1-benzylisoquinolines, with a preference for N-methylated substrates. All active enzymes accepted scoulerine and tetrahydrocolumbamine. Exogenous norlaudanosoline was converted to tetra-O-methylated laudanosine using combinations of Escherichia coli producing (1) GFLOMT1, (2) either GFLOMT2 or GFLOMT6, and (3) coclaurine N-methyltransferase from Coptis japonica. Expression profiles of GFLOMT1, GFLOMT2, and GFLOMT6 in different plant organs were in agreement with the O-methylation patterns of alkaloids in G. flavum determined by high-resolution, Fourier-transform mass spectrometry.

? 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.


Isolation and Characterization of O-methyltransferases Involved in the Biosynthesis of Glaucine in Glaucium flavum.


Chang L, Hagel JM, Facchini PJ.

Publish date

2015 Oct;1

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