The enriched fraction of Elephantopus scaber Triggers apoptosis and inhibits multi-drug resistance transporters in human epithelial cancer cells

Asmy Appadath Beeran, Naseer Maliyakkal, Chamallamudi Mallikarjuna Rao, Nayanabhirama Udupa

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Background: Medicinal plants have played an important role in the development of clinically useful anticancer agents. Elephantopus scaber (Asteraceae) (ES) is widely used in Indian traditional system of medicine for the treatment of various ailments including cancer. Objective: To investigate anticancer effects of ES in human epithelial cancer cells. Materials and Methods: Cytotoxicity of ethanolic extract of ES (ES-ET) and its fractions, such as ES Petroleum ether fraction (ES-PET), ES Dichloromethane fraction (ES DCM), n Butyl alcohol fraction (ES-BT), and ES-Rest (ES-R) were assessed in human epithelial cancer cell lines using sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay. Acridine orange/ethidium bromide assay and Hoechst 33342 assays were used to gauge induction of apoptosis. Cell cycle analysis and micronuclei assay were used to assess cell cycle specific pharmacological effects and drug induced genotoxicty. Further, the ability of ES to inhibit multi drug resistant (MDR) transporters (ABC-B1 and ABC-G2) was determined by Rhodamine (Rho) and Mitoxantrone (MXR) efflux assays. Results: The enriched fraction of ES (ES DCM) possessed dose-dependent potent cytotoxicity in human epithelial cancer cells. Further, treatment of cancer cells (HeLa, A549, MCF-7, and Caco-2) with ES DCM showed hall mark properties of apoptosis (membrane blebbing, nuclear condensation etc.). Similarly, ES DCM caused enhanced sub G0 content and micronuclei formation indicating the induction of apoptosis and drug induced genotoxicity in cancer cells, respectively. Interestingly, ES DCM inhibited MDR transporters (ABC B1 and ABC G2) in cancer cells. Conclusion: The enriched fraction of ES imparted cytotoxic effects, triggered apoptosis, induced genotoxicity, and inhibited MDR transporters in human epithelial cancer cells. Thus, ES appears to be potential anticancer agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-268
Number of pages12
JournalPharmacognosy Magazine
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science

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