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Ferulago angulata activates intrinsic pathway of apoptosis in MCF-7 cells associated with G1 cell cycle arrest via involvement of p21/p27

Authors Karimian H, Moghadamtousi SZ, Fadaeinasab M, Golbabapour S, Razavi M, Hajrezaei M, Arya A, Abdulla M, Mohan S, Mohd Ali H, Noordin MI

Received 4 June 2014

Accepted for publication 27 June 2014

Published 22 September 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 1481—1497


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Hamed Karimian,1 Soheil Zorofchian Moghadamtousi,2 Mehran Fadaeinasab,3 Shahram Golbabapour,2 Mahboubeh Razavi,1 Maryam Hajrezaie,2 Aditya Arya,1 Mahmood Ameen Abdulla,4 Syam Mohan,5 Hapipah Mohd Ali,2 Mohamad Ibrahim Noordin1

1Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, 2Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, 3Department of Chemistry, 4Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5Medical Research Centre, Jazan University, Jazan, Saudi Arabia

Abstract: Ferulago angulata is a medicinal plant that is traditionally known for its ­anti-inflammatory and antiulcer properties. The present study was aimed to evaluate its anticancer activity and the possible mechanism of action using MCF-7 as an in vitro model. F. angulata leaf extracts were prepared using solvents in the order of increasing polarity. As determined by MTT assay, F. angulata leaves hexane extract (FALHE) revealed the strongest cytotoxicity against MCF-7 cells with the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 5.3±0.82 µg/mL. The acute toxicity study of FALHE provided evidence of the safety of the plant extract. Microscopic and flow cytometric analysis using annexin-V probe showed an induction of apoptosis in MCF-7 by FALHE. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with FALHE encouraged the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis, with cell death transducing signals that reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential with cytochrome c release from mitochondria to cytosol. The released cytochrome c triggered the activation of caspase-9. Meanwhile, the overexpression of caspase-8 suggested the involvement of an extrinsic pathway in the induced apoptosis at the late stage of treatment. Moreover, flow cytometric analysis showed that FALHE treatment significantly arrested MCF-7 cells in the G1 phase, which was associated with upregulation of p21 and p27 assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Immunofluorescence and the quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis of MCF-7 cells after treatment with FALHE revealed an upregulation of Bax and a downregulation of Bcl-2 proteins. These findings proposed that FALHE suppressed the proliferation of MCF-7 cells via cell cycle arrest and the induction of apoptosis through intrinsic pathway.

Keywords: Ferulago angulata, apoptosis, cancer, MCF-7, cell cycle, p21/p27

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