Cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic effects of Abrus precatorius L. on human metastatic breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-231
Shafi Sofi, M.; Sateesh, M.K.; Bashir, M.; Harish, G.; Lakshmeesha, T.R.; Vedashree, S.; Vedamurthy, A.B.
Cytotechnology 65(3): 407-417
ISSN/ISBN: 0920-9069 PMID: 23081723 DOI: 10.1007/s10616-012-9494-6
Abrus precatorius is highly regarded as a universal panacea in the herbal medicine with diverse pharmacological activity spectra. This experimental study on the mechanism of the anticancer activity of A. precatorius leaf extracts, may offer new evidence for A. precatorius in the treatment of breast cancer in clinical practice. Cell death was determined by using MTT assay. Further analyses were carried out by doing DNA laddering, PARP cleavage, FACS, semi-quantitative RT-PCR and detection of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) by DCFDA assay. A. precatorius showed very striking inhibition on MDA-MB-231 cells. MTT assay showed more than 75 % inhibition of the cells and treated cells indicated visible laddering pattern with thick compact band. PARP cleavage produced 89 kDa cleavage product which was associated with apoptosis. Flow cytometer exhibited a sub-G0/G1 peak as an indicative of apoptosis. mRNA expression level of apoptosis-related genes p21 and p53 was markedly increased in cells treated with the extract as compared to control. The up-regulation of p21 and p53 may be the molecular mechanisms by which A. precatorius extract which induces apoptosis. An increase in the concentration of A. precatorius extract does not generate ROS, instead it reduces ROS formation in MDA-MB-231 cells, as evident from the shift in fluorescence below untreated control. This is the first report showing that A. precatorius leaf extract exhibits a growth inhibitory effect by induction of apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. Our results contribute towards validation of the A. precatorius extract as a potentially effective chemopreventive or therapeutic agent against breast cancer.