Context: Protein 53 (p53) is a well-known tumor suppressor protein, while murine double minute 2 (MDM2) acts as a negative regulator of p53, leading to p53 inactivation and cancer development. Aucklandia costus Falc. or Saussurea lappa contains bioactive compounds, particularly terpenoids, known for their anticancer activity against various cancer cells. Targeting the p53-MDM2 protein interaction and inhibiting MDM2 are crucial strategies in cancer therapy. Aims: To analyze the anticancer properties of A. costus terpenes against MDM2 protein. Methods: The compounds costunolide, dehydrocostus lactone, lappadilactone, and cynaropicrin were docked with MDM2 (PDB ID: 4HG7) using AutoDockTools 1.5.6. Additionally, the physicochemical, pharmacokinetic, and toxicity properties were predicted using pkCSM. Results: Lappadilactone exhibited the highest binding energy value, surpassing both the control and the native ligand. Following lappadilactone, cynaropicrin, costunolide, and dehydrocostus lactone displayed decreasing binding energies. When assessing ADMET properties with pkCSM, all compounds exhibited good permeability, suggesting their ability to penetrate intestinal cell membranes, and showed no signs of hepatotoxicity. Conclusions: Lappadilactone emerges as a promising candidate with high intestinal absorption, distinctive distribution characteristics, and a lack of mutagenic or hepatotoxic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-758
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacognosy Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Aucklandia costus
  • MDM2
  • Saussurea lappa
  • cancer
  • docking


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