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Phytomedicine. 2013 Nov 15;20(14):1288-96. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2013.06.010. Epub 2013 Jul 16.

Pea lectin inhibits growth of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells by inducing apoptosis and G2/M cell cycle arrest in vivo in mice.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh. Electronic address:


Pea (Pisum sativum L.) lectin is known to have interesting pharmacological activities and of great interest on biomedical research. In the current research pea lectin was purified followed by ion exchange chromatography on DEAE column and affinity chromatography on glucose-sepharose column. The lectin shown 11.7-84% inhibitory effect against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells at the concentration range of 8-120 μg/ml in RPMI 1640 medium as determined by MTT assay. Pea lectin was also shown 63% and 44% growth inhibition against EAC cells in vivo in mice when administered 2.8 mg/kg/day and 1.4 mg/kg/day (i.p.) respectively for five consequent days. When Pea lectin injected into the EAC bearing mice for 10 days its significantly increased the hemoglobin and RBC with the decreased of WBC levels toward the normal. Apoptotic cell morphological change of the treated EAC cells of mice was determined by fluorescence and optical microscope. Interestingly, cell growth inhibition of the lectin was significantly reduced in the presence of caspase inhibitors. Treatment with the lectin caused the cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase of EAC cells which was determined by flow cytometry. The expression of apoptosis-related genes, Bcl-2, Bcl-X and Bax was evaluated by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Intensive increase of Bax gene expression and totally despaired of Bcl-2 and Bcl-X gene expression were observed in the cells treated with Pea lectin for five consecutive days.


Antitumor; Apoptosis; Caspase; Cell cycle; Gene expression; Lectin; Pisum sativum

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