Stabilizing Effects of Ethanolic Extract of Mastic Gum on Microtubule Polymers: an In Vitro Study


  • Ali Dadras University of Tehran
  • Fatemeh Shahrokhi Asl University of Tehran
  • Gholam Hossein Riazi University of Tehran
  • Shahin Ahmadian University of Tehran
  • Tahereh Javdani Khalife University of Tehran



Terpenoids are novel natural products isolated from mastic gum. Mastic gum was obtained from the Pistacia Lentiscus tree. Scientific investigations have documented medical and pharmacological properties of mastic gum such as memory enhancement, antifungal, and antibacterial activities. It was astonishing to study the possible interaction of mastic gum extract with microtubule proteins which are involved in memory and consciousness since the administration of mastic gum is evidenced in the improvement of brain functions. Since a number of studies have demonstrated the effect of microtubule dynamics on mammals’ memory, in this study, we investigated the effect of Oxygenated Sesquiterpenes (OST) on microtubule polymerization in vitro. OST was purified from the ethanolic extract of mastic gum. The results revealed that OST induces microtubule polymerization; however, microtubule depolymerization was not affected and fluorometric assays showed conformational changes of tubulin in the presence of OST. We interestingly found that colchicine was unable to inhibit MT assembly in the presence of OST and OST was solely more efficient than the combination of OST with paclitaxel for elevating microtubule polymerization rate. We hope that OST could be a promising agent for memory enhancement and the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases as a novel tubulin-binding compound.


Pistacia lentiscus, Mastic gum, Oxygenated Sesquitrepene (OST), Tubulin, Microtubule


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