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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Anticancer property of Bryophyllum pinnata (Lam.) Oken. leaf on human cervical cancer cells

Sutapa Mahata1, Saurabh Maru1, Shirish Shukla1, Arvind Pandey1, G Mugesh2, Bhudev C Das3* and Alok C Bharti1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Molecular Oncology, Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICMR), I-7, Sector-39, Noida 201301, INDIA

2 Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, INDIA

3 Dr. B.R Ambedkar Centre for Biomedical Research, University of Delhi (North Campus), Delhi 110007, INDIA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:15  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-15

Published: 10 March 2012

Abstract

Background

Bryophyllum pinnata (B. pinnata) is a common medicinal plant used in traditional medicine of India and of other countries for curing various infections, bowel diseases, healing wounds and other ailments. However, its anticancer properties are poorly defined. In view of broad spectrum therapeutic potential of B. pinnata we designed a study to examine anti-cancer and anti-Human Papillomavirus (HPV) activities in its leaf extracts and tried to isolate its active principle.

Methods

A chloroform extract derived from a bulk of botanically well-characterized pulverized B. pinnata leaves was separated using column chromatography with step- gradient of petroleum ether and ethyl acetate. Fractions were characterized for phyto-chemical compounds by TLC, HPTLC and NMR and Biological activity of the fractions were examined by MTT-based cell viability assay, Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay, Northern blotting and assay of apoptosis related proteins by immunoblotting in human cervical cancer cells.

Results

Results showed presence of growth inhibitory activity in the crude leaf extracts with IC50 at 552 μg/ml which resolved to fraction F4 (Petroleum Ether: Ethyl Acetate:: 50:50) and showed IC50 at 91 μg/ml. Investigations of anti-viral activity of the extract and its fraction revealed a specific anti-HPV activity on cervical cancer cells as evidenced by downregulation of constitutively active AP1 specific DNA binding activity and suppression of oncogenic c-Fos and c-Jun expression which was accompanied by inhibition of HPV18 transcription. In addition to inhibiting growth, fraction F4 strongly induced apoptosis as evidenced by an increased expression of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax, suppression of the anti-apoptotic molecules Bcl-2, and activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of PARP-1. Phytochemical analysis of fraction F4 by HPTLC and NMR indicated presence of activity that resembled Bryophyllin A.

Conclusions

Our study therefore demonstrates presence of anticancer and anti-HPV an activity in B. pinnata leaves that can be further exploited as a potential anticancer, anti-HPV therapeutic for treatment of HPV infection and cervical cancer.

Keywords:
Bryophyllum pinnata; Human Papillomavirus; HeLa cells; AP1; NMR; HPTLC