Phytochemical Investigation of Zanthoxylum Chalybeum for Cytotoxic Principles Against Drug Sensitive and Multidrug Resistant Cancer Cell Lines

Huge improvements have been made over the years and various treatment options for management and cure of cancer have been employed. However, despite all these efforts, development of resistance by cells, commonly known as Multi Drug Resistance (MDR) is still a major challenge in treating metastatic cancer. Due to this problem (MDR), bioactive natural products have been researched and identified as therapeutic resources for exploring new and useful drugs.

Zanthoxylum chalebyum has not been known to be used by traditional Kenyan healers. However, previous investigations on Zanthoxylum has identified the genus as a possible source of principal compounds with diverse biological activities that have been explored and developed as new therapeutics.

This study seeks to investigate the phytochemical and anticancer principles of Zanthoxylum chalybeum to produce lead compounds to combat drug sensitive and multidrug resistant (MDR) cancer. The root bark of Zanthoxylum chalybeum was subjected to extraction by cold percolation and the crude extract underwent chromatographic separation leading to the isolation of pure compounds. From the previous studies, species from the Zanthoxylum were reported to be rich in alkaloids while coumarins, lignans and terpenes as minor compounds.

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