Yuehchukene, a bis-indole alkaloid, and cyclophosphamide are active in breast cancer in vitro

Thomas W.T. Leung, G. Cheng, C. H. Chui, S. K.W. Ho, F. Y. Lau, J. K.J. Tjong, T. C.C. Poon, Cheuk On Tang, W. C.P. Tse, K. F. Cheng, Y. C. Kong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Yuehchukene (YCK) is a novel bis-indole alkaloid with weak estrogenic activity. Biochemical studies showed that YCK could attenuate estrogenic action. In this study, the response of MCF-7, an estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer cell line, under different combinations of estradiol, cyclophosphamide and YCK, was tested. From the dose-response curve, we discovered that 10-2M cyclophosphamide, even in its so-called 'bio-inert' form, could inhibit MCF-7 cell growth. However, the cytotoxic effect of cyclophosphamide was lost by reducing its concentration to ~ 1 x 10-3M. On the other hand, a low concentration (~ 10-8-10-9M) of YCK was found to potentiate the cytotoxic effect of cyclophosphamide on the MCF-7 cell line. Such an effect was absent in the estrogen-receptor-negative cell line MDA-MB-231. These findings, together with the dual role of a mixed estrogen and anti-estrogen effect, suggested that YCK and cyclophosphamide can be a potential combination in chemo-hormonal therapy for breast cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen
  • Yuehchukene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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