Antiproliferative evaluation of tall-oil docosanol and tetracosanol over CHO-K1 and human melanoma cells

Mauricio Vergara, Araceli Olivares, Claudia Altamirano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Polycosanols derived fromplant species have traditionally been used inmedicine as antiproliferative agents for treating various viruses (primarily the herpes simplex virus). However, fewstudies have studied their effects on hyperproliferative cell lines. In this work, the antiproliferative capacity of polycosanols from tall-oil pitch, obtained from black liquor soaps in the kraft pulping process of cellulose (specifically from Pinus radiata, Pinus taede, and Eucalyptus globulus), was evaluated on CHO-K1 and CRL-1974 human melanoma cell lines. Results: The proliferative capacities and cell viabilities were measured for 72 and 140 h, respectively. Treatment with docosanol produced differential effects on the CHO-K1 and humanmelanoma cells and significantly affected their proliferation rates, but not their cell viabilities. Tetracosanol produced a significant negative effect on the proliferation of human melanoma cells, and this effect was less than that caused by docosanol. However, it had no effect on the proliferation of CHO-K1 cells and did not induce any significant effect on the viability of the studied cell lines. Conclusion: Docosanol and tetracosanol induced antiproliferative effects on the studied cell lines and exhibited significantly greater effects on the oncogenic cell lines. Prior to this study, the capacity of these polycosanols has never been investigated. Future studies will be necessary to determine their mechanisms of action on these cell systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102
Pages (from-to)291-294
Number of pages4
JournalElectronic Journal of Biotechnology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 20 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • CHO-K1 cells
  • Growth-arrested
  • Human melanoma cells
  • Polycosanols


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