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The aqueous extract of Brucea javanica suppresses cell growth and alleviates tumorigenesis of human lung cancer cells by targeting mutated epidermal growth factor receptor

Authors Kim SH, Liu CY, Fan PW, Hsieh CH, Lin HY, Lee MC, Fang K

Received 17 July 2016

Accepted for publication 18 August 2016

Published 3 November 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 3599—3609

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S117443

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sukesh Voruganti


Seung-Hun Kim,1,* Chun-Yen Liu,1,* Po-Wei Fan,1 Chang-Heng Hsieh,1 Hsuan-Yuan Lin,1 Ming-Chung Lee,2 Kang Fang1

1Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, 2Brion Research Institute of Taiwan, New Taipei City, Taiwan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: As a practical and safe herbal medicine, the seeds of Brucea javanica (L.) Merr., were used to cure patients suffering from infectious diseases such as malaria. Recent advances revealed that the herb could also be a useful cancer therapy agent. The study demonstrated that aqueous B. javanica (BJ) extract attenuated the growth of human non-small-lung cancer cells bearing mutant L858R/T790M epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The reduced cell viability in H1975 cells was attributed to apoptosis. Transfection of EGFR small hairpin RNA reverted the sensitivities. When nude mice were fed BJ extract, the growth of xenograft tumors, as established by H1975 cells, was suppressed. Additional histological examination and fluorescence analysis of the resected tissues proved that the induced apoptosis mitigated tumor growth. The work proved that the BJ extract exerted its effectiveness by targeting lung cancer cells carrying mutated EGFR while alleviating tumorigenesis. Aqueous BJ extract is a good candidate to overcome drug resistance in patients undergoing target therapy.

Keywords: Brucea javanica, target therapy, epidermal growth factor receptor, human lung, herbal medicine, apoptosis

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