Journal Article Functional Characterisation of Anticancer Activity in the Aqueous Extract of Helicteres angustifolia L. Roots

Li, Kejuan  ,  Yu, Yue  ,  Sun, Shuang  ,  Liu, Ye  ,  Garg, Sukant  ,  Kaul, Sunil C.  ,  Lei, Zhongfang  ,  Gao, Ran  ,  Wadhwa, Renu  ,  Zhang, Zhenya

11 ( 3 )  , p.e0152017 , 2016-03 , Public Library of Science
Helicteres angustifolia L. is a shrub that forms a common ingredient of several cancer treatment recipes in traditional medicine system both in China and Laos. In order to investigate molecular mechanisms of its anticancer activity, we prepared aqueous extract of Helicteres angustifolia L. Roots (AQHAR) and performed several in vitro assays using human normal fibroblasts (TIG-3) and osteosarcoma (U2OS). We found that AQHAR caused growth arrest/apoptosis of U2OS cells in a dose-dependent manner. It showed no cytotoxicity to TIG-3 cells at doses up to 50 μg/ml. Biochemical, imaging and cell cycle analyses revealed that it induces ROS signaling and DNA damage response selectively in cancer cells. The latter showed upregulation of p53, p21 and downregulation of Cyclin B1 and phospho-Rb. Furthermore, AQHAR-induced apoptosis was mediated by increase in pro-apoptotic proteins including cleaved PARP, caspases and Bax. Anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 showed decrease in AQHAR-treated U2OS cells. In vivo xenograft tumor assays in nude mice revealed dose-dependent suppression of tumor growth and lung metastasis with no toxicity to the animals suggesting that AQHAR could be a potent and safe natural drug for cancer treatment.

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