Swietenia macrophylla King induces mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis through p53 upregulation in HCT116 colorectal carcinoma cells

Bey Hing Goh, Chim Kei Chan, Muhamad Noor Alfarizal Kamarudin, Habsah Abdul Kadir

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance Swietenia macrophylla King is a traditional herb used to treat various diseases including hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Previous study demonstrated its anti-tumor effect but the potential mechanisms have not been clearly defined. The current study was to further investigate the underlying mechanism of ethyl acetate fraction of Swietenia macrophylla (SMEAF)-induced anti-proliferative effect and apoptosis in HCT116 colorectal carcinoma cell. Materials and methods Cell viability was evaluated in HCT116 cells by trypan blue exclusion assay. Apoptotic cell death was detected by Hoechst 33342/propidium iodide (PI) staining and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was analyzed by flow cytometry. The apoptotic gene and protein expression were determined by Real-time quantitative PCR (q-PCR) and immunofluorescence staining using flow cytometry, respectively. Results SMEAF significantly inhibited HCT116 cell viability and induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. SMEAF-induced apoptosis was triggered by the activation of p53 and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Moreover, the significant increase in p53 was accompanied by a decrease murine double minute 2 (MDM2) expression. SMEAF significantly increased the expression of the Bax protein resulting in a markedly elevated Bax/Bcl-2 ratio which may have triggered the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, resulting in caspase-3/7 and caspase-9 activation. Conclusion These results suggested that SMEAF exerts its antitumor activity in HCT116 cells by activating proapoptotic signaling pathway through intracellular ROS formation triggering the mitochondrial-mediated pathway via p53 activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bax/Bcl-2
  • Caspase
  • p53
  • ROS
  • Swietenia macrophylla

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