Background: Genus Isodon (Lamiaceae) is a prolific source for bioactive terpenoids.
Nowadays, people move towards natural products because of undesirable effects of chemotherapeutic
Objective: In silico and in vitro approaches were attempted to screen bioactive terpenoids isolated
from Isodon wightii with acetylcholinesterase and histone deacetylase3 receptors.
Methods: Terpenoids such as abietic acid, oleanolic acid, α-amyrin acetate, β-amyrin acetate were
docked with AchE and HDAC3 receptors using AutoDock Vina (version 1.1.2). Further, GROMACS
5.1.2 package was used to perform molecular dynamic simulation. In vitro apoptosis was tested using
hoechst 33258 and acridine orange/ethidium bromide.
Results: Ligplot analysis indicated that abietic acid had strong binding efficiency with AchE and
HDAC3 receptors forming one and four hydrogen bonds respectively. Root mean square deviation
analysis showed AchE-abietic acid and HDAC3-abietic acid complexes with high deviation which
later attains equilibrium around ~25000ps and ~10000ps respectively. Root mean square fluctuation
study showed that the complexes have high fluctuations indicates the high flexibility of residues. Solvent
accessible surface area revealed the favourable interacting region of AchE and HDAC3 receptors
with abietic acid in the range of ~215nm2 to ~235nm2 and ~157nm2 to ~175nm2 respectively.
Apoptosis inducing the activity of abietic acid was tested against HeLa cells. Hoechst 33258 staining
showed increased apoptosis by abietic acid in a concentration-dependent manner. AO/EtBr dual staining
showed early apoptosis at 25-75µg/mL and necrosis at 100-125µg/mL abietic acid.
Conclusion: In silico and in vitro studies suggest that abietic acid could be a promising terpenoid for
treating Alzheimer’s disease and cervical cancer.