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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:261971. doi: 10.1155/2012/261971. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Momordica charantia Extract Induces Apoptosis in Human Cancer Cells through Caspase- and Mitochondria-Dependent Pathways.

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1
Institute of Medical Sciences, Tzu Chi University, Hualien 970, Taiwan.

Abstract

Plants are an invaluable source of potential new anti-cancer drugs. Momordica charantia is one of these plants with both edible and medical value and reported to exhibit anticancer activity. To explore the potential effectiveness of Momordica charantia, methanol extract of Momordica charantia (MCME) was used to evaluate the cytotoxic activity on four human cancer cell lines, Hone-1 nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells, AGS gastric adenocarcinoma cells, HCT-116 colorectal carcinoma cells, and CL1-0 lung adenocarcinoma cells, in this study. MCME showed cytotoxic activity towards all cancer cells tested, with the approximate IC(50) ranging from 0.25 to 0.35 mg/mL at 24 h. MCME induced cell death was found to be time-dependent in these cells. Apoptosis was demonstrated by DAPI staining and DNA fragmentation analysis using agarose gel electrophoresis. MCME activated caspase-3 and enhanced the cleavage of downstream DFF45 and PARP, subsequently leading to DNA fragmentation and nuclear condensation. The apoptogenic protein, Bax, was increased, whereas Bcl-2 was decreased after treating for 24 h in all cancer cells, indicating the involvement of mitochondrial pathway in MCME-induced cell death. These findings indicate that MCME has cytotoxic effects on human cancer cells and exhibits promising anti-cancer activity by triggering apoptosis through the regulation of caspases and mitochondria.

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