Cytotoxic and apoptogenic effects of Strobilanthes crispa Blume extracts on nasopharyngeal cancer cells

Rhun Yian Koh, Yi Chi Sim, Hwee Jin Toh, Liang Kuan Liam, Rachael Sze Lynn Ong, Mei Yeng Yew, Yee Lian Tiong, Anna Pick Kiong Ling, Soi Moi Chye, Khuen Yen Ng

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The chemotherapeutic agents used to treat nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) exhibit low efficacy. Strobilanthes crispa Blume is widely used for its anticancer, diuretic and anti-diabetic properties. The present study aimed to determine the cytotoxic and apoptogenic effects of S. crispa on CNE-1 NPC cells. A 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay was used to evaluate the cytotoxic effects of S. crispa against CNE-1 cells. The rate of apoptosis was determined using propidium iodide staining and caspase assays. Ethyl acetate, hexane and chloroform extracts of S.leaves all exhibited cytotoxic effects on CNE-1 cells, at a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 119, 123-5 and 161-7 ?g/ml, respectively. In addition, hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of S. crispa stems inhibited CNE-1 cell proliferation, at a IC50 of 49-4, 148-3 and 163-5 ?g/ml, respectively. Flow cytometric analysis revealed an increased proportion of cells in the sub G1 phase and a decreased proportion of cells in the G2/M phase, following treatment with the extracts. However, the extracts did not alter the activities of caspase-3/7,-8 and-9. No cytotoxic effect was observed when the cells were treated with the methanol and water extracts of S. crispa stems and leaves. In conclusion, the S-extracts were cytotoxic against CNE-1 cells and these extracts were able to induce apoptosis, independent of caspase activation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6293 - 6299
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Medicine Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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