Ursolic acid

Authors: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer, Prof. Dr. med. Martina Bacharach-Buhles

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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CAS No: 77-52-1; Malol; Prunol; Urson

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The ursolic acid belongs to the class of triterpene saponins (of the Ursan type) and comes naturally in catnip (Nepeta cataria), in the wax coatings of apples (malus), in Agrimoniae herba (agrimony), summer savory (Satureja hortensis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), in basil, in the small brown cornflower (Prunella vulgaris) and in rose plants (Rosaceae).

Spectrum of action
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Ursolic acid is an antibiotically active pentacyclic triterpenoid structurally related to oleanolic acid. It
esterified or as an aglycon of triterpene saponins. Ursolic acid is used as auxiliary agent in the food industry and in the production of cosmetics.
The pharmacological properties of ursolic acid are of interest as cyclooxygenase inhibitor (antiphlogistic effect) and due to its (experimentally proven) cytotoxicity (chemotherapeutic effect).

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  1. Gai WT et al,(2016) Anti-cancer effect of ursolic acid activates apoptosis through ROCK/PTEN mediated mitochondrial translocation of cofilin-1 in prostate cancer. Oncol Lett 12:28802885.
  2. Yin R et al(2016) Ursolic acid, a potential anticancer compound for breast cancer therapy. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. PubMed PMID: 27469428.
  3. Zhang X et al (2016) p21 induction plays a dual role in anti-cancer activity of ursolic acid. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 241:501-508.

Incoming links (2)

Serpylli herba; Uvae ursi folium;