Cytotoxicity, Apoptosis Induction and Anti-Metastatic Potential of Oroxylum indicum in Human Breast Cancer Cells

  • Kumar, D.R. Naveen (School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT University) ;
  • George, V. Cijo (School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT University) ;
  • Suresh, P.K. (School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT University) ;
  • Kumar, R. Ashok (Department of Zoology, Government Arts College)
  • Published : 2012.06.30


Despite clinical advances in anticancer therapy, there is still a need for novel anticancer metabolites, with higher efficacy and lesser side effects. Oroxylum indicum (L.) Vent. is a small tree of the Bignoniaceae family which is well known for its food and medicinal properties. In present study, the chemopreventive properties of O. indicum hot and cold non-polar extracts (petroleum ether and chloroform) were investigated with MDA-MB-231 (cancer cells) and WRL-68 (non-tumor cells) by XTT assay. All the extracts, and particularly the petroleum ether hot extract (PHO), exhibited significantly (P<0.05) higher cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 when compared to WRL-68 cells. PHO was then tested for apoptosis induction in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative (MDA-MB-231) and ER-positive (MCF-7) breast cancer cells by cellular DNA fragmentation ELISA, where it proved more efficient in the MDA-MB-231 cells. Further, when PHO was tested for anti-metastatic potential in a cell migration inhibition assay, it exhibited beneficial effects. Thus non-polar extracts of O. indicum (especially PHO) can effectively target ER-negative breast cancer cells to induce apoptosis, without harming normal cells by cancer-specific cytotoxicity. Hence, it could be considered as an extract with candidate precursors to possibly harness or alleviate ER-negative breast cancer progression even in advanced stages of malignancy.


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