PloS one 2018 04 1013(4) e0195707 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0195707
The aim of this study is to disclose the potential bioactive components of Cuscuta palaestina, a native parasitic natural plant of flora palaestina and to open direction towards new prospective application. GC-MS analysis identified 18 components in the methanolic extract of C. palaestina for the first time. The most appealing among them are Sesamin and two other phytosterols (Campesterol and Stigmasterol), all of which are documented in the scientific literature for their anticancer activity. Quantitation of Sesamin extracted from C. palaestina by HPLC-PDA with the use of three organic solvents showed that the Sesamin content in the methanolic extract was the highest. Following the disclosure of Sesamin presence in C. palaestina, we raised the question of whether it is produced naturally in C. palaestina or acquired from the host plant. The quantitation of Sesamin in C. palaestina was performed while being with five different host plants, and was compared with the amount of Sesamin in C. palaestina grown alone. The findings reveal that Sesamin is an endogenous secondary metabolite in C. palaestina. Thus, further studies are required to prove if C. palaestina can be used as an alternative source of anticancer phytochemicals, mainly Sesamin, and if proteins in the Sesamin production pathway could be valid biological targets for the development of novel and selective pesticides for control/ eradication of C. palaestina and maybe some other Cuscuta species. As well, the findings from this study raise a big question of whether inferring Sesamin production in C. palaestina could reduce its attack ability to host plants.