Anticancer mechanisms of Strobilanthes crispa Blume hexane extract on liver and breast cancer cell lines

Rhun Yian Koh, Foong Ping Lim, Leslie Siing Yie Ling, Catherine Pei Ling Ng, Siew Foong Liew, Mei Yeng Yew, Yee Lian Tiong, Anna Pick Kiong Ling, Soi Moi Chye, Khuen Yen Ng

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer is a major public health concern not only in developed countries, but also in developing countries. It is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. However, current treatments may cause severe side effects and harm. Therefore, recent research has been focused on identifying alternative therapeutic agents extracted from plant‑based sources in order to develop novel treatment options for cancer. Strobilanthes crispa Blume is a plant native to countries including Madagascar and Indonesia. It has been used as an anti‑diabetic, diuretic and laxative in traditional folk medicine. Furthermore, S. crispa has potential in treating cancer, as evidenced in previous studies. In the present study, the cytotoxic and apoptotic activities of S. crispa crude extracts were investigated in liver and breast cancer cell lines. Hexane, ethyl acetate, chloroform, methanol and water extracts prepared from the leaves, and stems of S. crispa were evaluated for their cytotoxicity on HepG‑2 and MDA‑MB‑231 cells using an MTT assay. The anti‑proliferative properties of stem hexane (SH) extract on both cell lines were analysed using cell doubling time determination and cell cycle analysis, while the apoptogenic properties was determined through the detection of caspase‑8. Among the extracts tested, SH extract exhibited the lowest half maximal inhibitory concentrations in both the cell lines. The SH extract induced morphological changes in HepG‑2 and MDA‑MB‑231 cells, and significantly delayed cell population doubling time. Furthermore, it altered cell cycle profile and significantly increased caspase‑8 activity in HepG‑2 cells, but not in MDA‑MB‑231 cells. In conclusion, the SH extract of S. crispa possesses potent anticancer properties and may be a suitable chemotherapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4957-4964
Number of pages8
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Anticancer
  • Apoptosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Strobilanthes crispa Blume

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