Cytotoxicity of benzophenanthridine alkaloids from the roots of <i>Zanthoxylum nitidum</i> (Roxb.) DC. var. <i>fastuosum</i> How ex Huang

<div><p>This work aimed to investigate benzophenanthridine from the roots of <i>Zanthoxylum nitidum</i> (Roxb.) DC. var. <i>fastuosum</i> How ex Huang for the first time. Thirteen benzophenanthridines were isolated, and our results of the cytotoxic activities indicated that compound <b>6</b> exhibited the best potency against A549, Hela, SMMC-7721 and EJ, with the IC<sub>50</sub> values of 27.50, 37.50, 16.95 and 60.42 μM, respectively. Compounds <b>7</b> and <b>11</b> also showed strong cytotoxicity when tested against the four human cancer cell lines (A549, Hela, SMMC-7721 and EJ), while only compounds <b>12</b> and <b>13</b> displayed cytotoxicity in inhibiting BALL-1 proliferation among all the compounds. These results suggested that benzophenanthridines may become a valid alternative of potential basis for new anti-proliferative agents.</p></div>