Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Jatropha curcas

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Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2006 Sep;38(9):663-8.
Expression, purification and anti-tumor activity of curcin.
Luo MJ, Yang XY, Liu WX, Xu Y, Huang P, Yan F, Chen F.
College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.

Curcin, purified from the seeds of Jatropha curcas, can be used as a cell-killing agent. Understanding the anti-tumor activity of the recombinant protein of curcin is important for its application in clinical medicine. The segment encoding the mature protein of curcin was inserted into Escherichia coli strain M15, and the recombinant strain was induced to express by isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside at a concentration of 0.5 mM. The recombinant protein was expressed in the form of inclusion bodies and purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The target protein was incubated with the tumor cells at different concentrations for different times and the results demonstrated that the target protein could inhibit the growth of tumor cells (NCL-H446, SGC-7901 and S180) at 5 microg/ml.

In Vivo. 2005 Jan-Feb;19(1):265-8.  
Anti-metastatic effects of curcusone B, a diterpene from Jatropha curcas.
Muangman S, Thippornwong M, Tohtong R.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Phya Thai, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.

A new approach to cancer therapy in recent years has been to target the metastatic process. The anti-metastatic potential of curcusone B, a diterpene isolated from Jatropha curcas Linn. (Euphorbiaceae), a herbal plant that has been used in traditional folk medicine in many tropical countries, was investigated against 4 human cancer cell lines. Treatment with non-cytotoxic doses of curcusone B resulted in a strong reduction of in vitro invasion, motility and secretion of matrix-metalloproteinases (MMP) of the cancer cells, whereas the ability to adhere to a Matrigel-coated surface was variably sensitive to curcusone B treatment. Curcusone B, thus, effectively suppresses the metastatic processes at doses that are non-toxic to cells, which may be of therapeutic benefit for the treatment of metastatic cancers.

Lin J et a l / Acta Pharmacol Sin 2003 Mar; 24 (3): 241 -246
Antitumor effects of curcin from seeds of Jatropha curcas
LIN Juan, YAN Fang, TANG Lin, CHEN Fang1
College of Life Science, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610064, China
AIM: To study the antitumor effects of curcin from Jatropha curcas. METHODS: Antitumor activity of curcin
was tested by MTT assay. The N-glycosidase activity of curcin was determined by characterization of R-fragment
in gel. A cell-free system, rabbit reticulocyte lysate, was introduced to quantify the inhibitory activity of curcin on
protein biosynthesis. RESULTS: The curcin had a powerful inhibitory action upon protein synthesis in reticulocyte
lysate with an IC50 (95 % confidence limits) value of 0.19 (0.11-0.27) nmol/L. The IC50 (95 % confidence limits) of
curcin on SGC-7901, Sp2/0, and human hepatoma was 0.23 (0.15-0.32) mg/L, 0.66 ( 0.35-0.97) mg/L, 3.16
(2.74-3.58) mg/L, respectively. Curcin was found to have no toxic to Hela cells and normal cells (MRC). After the
rRNA of ribosome was treated with curcin and aniline at acidic condition, a cleaved R-fragment of approximately
450 nt appeared, but this fragment did not occur after treatment with curcin only. A comparison of the amino acid
sequences of curcin, ricin A-chain and trichosanthin revealed that there were relatively high similarities among
them. The percentages of homology between curcin and ricin A chain, between curcin and trichosanthin were
found to be 54 % and 57 % respectively. Especially, the conserved residues forming the active sites of the A chain
of ricin and trichosanthin occurred in curcin. CONCLUSION: Curcin has an obvious antitumor effect and its mechanisms are related to the N-glycosidase activity.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jan;90(1):11-5.
Anti-inflammatory activity of Jatropha curcas roots in mice and rats.
Mujumdar AM, Misar AV.
Agharkar Research Institute, GG Agarkar Road, Pune 411 004, India.

Anti-inflammatory activity of topical application of Jatropha curcas L. root powder in paste form in TPA-induced ear inflammation was confirmed in albino mice and the successive solvent extraction of these roots was carried out by ether and methanol. The methanol extract exhibited systemic and significant anti-inflammatory activity in acute carrageenan-induced rat paw edema. It also showed activity against formalin-induced rat paw edema, as well as, turpentine-induced exudative changes and cotton pellet-induced granular tissue formation after oral treatment for 7 days in albino rats. Thus, resultant anti-inflammatory activity might be due to effects on several mediators and arachidonic acid metabolism involving cyclo-oxygenase pathway resulting in prostaglandin formation, anti-proliferative activity leading to reduction in granular tissue formation and leukocyte migration from the vessels.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Nov;89(1):101-5.
Coagulant and anticoagulant activities in Jatropha curcas latex.
Osoniyi O, Onajobi F.
Department of Biochemistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 22005, Nigeria.

Jatropha curcas Linn. (Euphorbiaceae), a medicinal plant commonly grown in the Tropics, is traditionally used as a haemostatic. Investigation of the coagulant activity of the latex of Jatropha curcas showed that whole latex significantly (P<0.01) reduced the clotting time of human blood. Diluted latex, however, prolonged the clotting time: at high dilutions, the blood did not clot at all. This indicates that Jatropha curcas latex possesses both procoagulant and anticoagulant activities. Prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) tests on plasma confirm these observations. Solvent partitioning of the latex with ethyl acetate and butanol led to a partial separation of the two opposing activities: at low concentrations, the ethyl acetate fraction exhibited a procoagulant activity, while the butanol fraction had the highest anticoagulant activity. The residual aqueous fraction had no significant effect on the clotting time of blood and the PT but slightly prolonged the APTT.

Trop Med Int Health. 2000 Jun;5(6):423-30. Related Articles, Links  
Toxic activities of the plant Jatropha curcas against intermediate snail hosts and larvae of schistosomes.
Rug M, Ruppel A.
Department of Tropical Hygiene and Public Health, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

The aim of studies on plant molluscicides is to complement methods for controlling snails acting as intermediate hosts of schistosomes. We report on the toxic activity of extracts from Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) against snails transmitting Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. We studied different extracts' effects on infectious larvae, cercariae and miracidia of S. mansoni. Compared to aqueous extract, methanol extract showed the highest toxicity against all tested organisms with LC100-values of 25 p.p.m. for cercariae and the snail Biomphalaria glabrata and 1 p.p.m. for the snails Bulinus truncatus and B. natalensis. Attenuation of cercariae leading to reduced infectivity in mice could be achieved in concentrations below those exerting acute toxicity. In view of our results and the ongoing exploitation of J. curcas for other purposes, this plant could become an affordable and effective component of an integrated approach to schistosomiasis control.

J Biotechnol. 1999 Oct 8;75(2-3):117-26. Related Articles, Links  
Esterase and lipase activity in Jatropha curcas L. seeds.
Staubmann R, Ncube I, Gubitz GM, Steiner W, Read JS.
Department of Biotechnology, Graz University of Technology, Graz, Austria.

Two new esterases (JEA and JEB) and a lipase (JL) were extracted from the seeds of Jatropha curas L. Lipase activity was only found during germination of the seeds and increased to a maximum after 4 days of germination. All enzymes were found to be most active in the alkaline range at around pH 8 and the purified (fractionated precipitation with ethanol and gel filtration) esterases were very stable at high temperatures. The molecular weight (SDS-PAGE) of both esterases was determined to be 21.6-23.5 kDa (JEA) and 30.2 kDa (JEB) and the isoelectric point was 5.7-6.1 for esterase JEA and 9.0 for esterase JEB. Most ions caused a negative influence on the activity of both esterases. Using p-nitrophenyl butyrate as a substrate JEA showed a K(m) of 0.02 mM and a v(max) of 0.26 micromol mg(-1) min(-1). Under the same conditions JEB showed a K(m) of 0.07 mM and a v(max) of 0.24 micromol mg(-1) min(-1). Both esterases hydrolyzed tributyrin, nitrophenyl esters up to a chain length of =C4 and naphtylesters up to a chain length =C6. In transesterification reactions, JL was found to be most active at very low water activities (0.2) and in high water activities, the lipase hydrolysed triglycerides into conversions above 80%. The lipase hydrolysed both short chain and long chain triglycerides at about the same rate but was inactive on alpha-methylbenzyl acetate. JL is a potentially useful biocatalyst in the hydrolysis of triglycerides in organic solvents.

East Afr Med J. 1998 Sep;75(9):508-11. Related Articles, Links  
Disinfectant/antiparasitic activities of Jatropha curcas.
Fagbenro-Beyioku AF, Oyibo WA, Anuforom BC.
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the disinfectant/antiparasitic activities of Jatropha curcas as a first step in providing a cheap, readily available disinfectant and malaria vector control agent. DESIGN: Bacteriological and parasitologic tests were carried out on laboratory bench surfaces using the sap and crushed leaves of Jatropha curcas. Four rectangular areas labelled A, B, C and D were first swabbed and streaked onto McConkey and Nutrient agar plates. Section A was treated with "Hibiscrub", D with exterma germcloth, B and C with full strength sap and leaf extracts respectively. Effect of the sap was also tested on helminth ova, vector control on mosquito eggs and toxic effects of the sap on mice. SETTING: The study was carried out in the medical microbiology laboratory of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos. RESULTS: Observation showed that the sap extracted germicidal actions on the growth of common bacteria of Staphylococcus, Bacillus and Micrococcus species on contact and retained such effects on treated laboratory bench surface for close to six hours after initial application. Ova of Ascaris Lumbricoides and Necator americanus incubated in 50% and 100 concentrations of the sap at room temperature showed either no evidence of embryonation after 21 days in the case of A. Lumbricoides, negation of hatchability in hookworm, or complete distortion in both. The sap also exhibited strong inhibitory effect on normal larval growth of mosquito, but was highly toxic to mice when administered through oral or intraperitoneal routes. CONCLUSION: J. curcas would provide a very cheap, readily available disinfectant and malaria vector control agent and should be commercially exploited.

J Ethnopharmacol. 1995 Jul 28;47(3):117-23. Related Articles, Links  
Pregnancy terminating effect of Jatropha curcas in rats.
Goonasekera MM, Gunawardana VK, Jayasena K, Mohammed SG, Balasubramaniam S.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.

The fertility regulatory effect of the fruit of Jatropha curcas was investigated by oral administration of different extracts to pregnant rats for varying periods of time. Foetal resorption was observed with methanol, petroleum ether and dichloromethane extracts indicating the abortifacient properties of the fruit. The results also suggest that the interruption of pregnancy occurred at an early stage after implantation. This effect could be accomplished even when the extracts were given from the 6th to the 8th day of pregnancy. Loss of body weight during the dosing period, ranging from slight to severe was seen in the treated animals. Marked toxicity was observed with some extracts when given over a comparatively long period of about 10 days.

Rev Biol Trop. 1994 Apr-Aug;42(1-2):323-6. Related Articles, Links  
[Cicatrization effect of Jatropha curcas latex (Angiospermae: Euforbiaceae)]
Salas J, Tello V, Zavaleta A, Villegas L, Salas M, Fernandez I, Vaisberg A.
Depto. Academico de Ciencias Fisiologicas, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.

The wound healing effects of Jathopha curcas latex upon surgical wound produced in Balb/c mice skin, were studied with a modification of the Hoowes-Sooy-Harvey method. The effects of topical treatment using single 50 ul doses of latex at different dilutions (10% to 100%) was compared with a multiple dose treatment (four 25 ul/dose q12h, latex 5% to 100%). The single dose treatment with 10%, 50% or 100% latex and the multiple dose treatment with dilutions between 5% and 10%, have a healing effect but only on males. The multiple dose treatment with 50% or pure undiluted latex produced caustic lesions to treated skin.