Lapachol as an epithelial tumor inhibitor agent in Drosophila melanogaster heterozygote for tumor suppressor gene wts

W.F. Costa1, A.B. Oliveira2, and J.C. Nepomuceno1,3

1Instituto de Genética e Bioquímica, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Uberlândia, MG, Brasil
2Departamento de Produtos Farmacêuticos, Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
3Laboratório de Citogenética e Mutagênese, Centro Universitário de Patos de Minas, Patos de Minas, MG, Brasil

Corresponding author: J.C. Nepomuceno
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (4): 3236-3245 (2011)
Published December 22, 2011


The search for new and effective antitumor agents with fewer cytotoxic side effects on normal tissue has increasingly become important. Lapachol, a natural organic compound isolated from the lapacho tree (Tabebuia avellandedae), is chemically identified as belonging to the naphthoquinone group and is known for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibiotic properties, although there are questions about its effectiveness for treating neoplastic cells. We evaluated the antitumoral effects of lapachol by testing for clones of epithelial tumors in Drosophila melanogaster. Seventy-two-hour-old larvae bred from wts/TM3, Sb1 females and mwh/mwh males were treated with different concentrations of lapachol (20, 40, and 60 µg/mL). Lapachol alone did not significantly increase the number of epithelial tumors. However, lapachol did significantly reduce the number of tumors provoked by doxorubicin.

Key words: Drosophila melanogaster; Naphthoquinone; Lapachol; Doxorubicin; wts.

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