Download Full Text (107 KB)


Copaiba oil derived from the oleoresin of the Copaiba tree has been widely used as an antiseptic and expectorant for the respiratory tract, and as anti-inflammatory agent in various skin diseases. Studies have indicated that Copaiba oil exhibited anti-carcinogenic properties in various preclinical studies. However, the anti-cancer mechanisms of copaiba oil still remain unclear. There are various diterpenoid compounds within Copaiba oil, which also make the mechanism investigation very difficult. Hardwickiic acid (HAA), a clerodane diterpenoid isolated from Copaiba oil shows anti-chaperone activity from a recent study. In the current study, cytotoxicity and anti-chaperone assay guided isolation led to 9 fractions from Copaiba oil. Three of the fractions showed cytotoxicity in prostate cancer cells. And other three fractions exhibited potent anti-chaperone activity. There are multiple chemical components in the fractions that showed cytotoxicity, which has been confirmed with mass spectrum. The three fractions showed anti-chaperone activity were further purified for structure elucidation. NMR combined with MS reveal that the three fractions are Copaibic acid, Hardwickiic acid and 7-Acetyl-copaibic acid. All three compounds can be used as lead compounds for the development of more potent small molecule chaperone inhibitors.

Publication Date



Chemicals and Drugs | Macromolecular Substances | Medicine and Health Sciences


Student Researchers: Daniel Kulman; Janine Naim

Faculty Advisor: Bin Su, Ph.D.

Anti-chaperone Activity and Cytotoxicity of Chemical Components in Copaiba Oil