Chamaecyparis obtusa (CO) belongs to the Cupressaceae family, and it is found widely distributed in Japan and Korea. In this study, the anti-proliferative activities of the methanol and water extracts of CO leaves against a human colorectal cancer cell line (HCT116) were investigated. The methanol extract of CO leaves, at a concentration of 1.25 μg/mL, exhibited anti-proliferative activity against HCT116 cells, while displaying no cytotoxicity against Chang liver cells. Comparative global metabolite profiling was performed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry coupled with multivariate statistical analysis, and it was revealed that anthricin was the major compound contributing to the anti-proliferative activity. The activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases played a key role in the apoptotic effect of the methanol extract of CO leaves in HCT116 human colon cancer cells. These results suggest that the methanol extract and anthricin derived from CO leaves might be useful in the development of medicines with anti-colorectal cancer activity.
- Chamaecyparis obtusa
- Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
- Human colorectal cancer
- Metabolite profiling