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PLoS One. 2016 Dec 9;11(12):e0167536. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167536. eCollection 2016.

The Antioxidative Fraction of White Mulberry Induces Apoptosis through Regulation of p53 and NFκB in EAC Cells.

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Department of Pharmacy, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh.
Department of Pharmacy, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj, Bangladesh.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh.
Department of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh.


In this study, the antioxidative fraction of white mulberry (Morus alba) was found to have an apotogenic effect on Ehrlich's ascites carcinoma cell-induced mice (EAC mice) that correlate with upregulated p53 and downregulated NFκB signaling. The antioxidant activities and polyphenolic contents of various mulberry fractions were evaluated by spectrophotometry and the ethyl acetate fraction (EAF) was selected for further analysis. Strikingly, the EAF caused 70.20% tumor growth inhibition with S-phase cell cycle arrest, normalized blood parameters including red/white blood cell counts and suppressed the tumor weight of EAC mice compared with untreated controls. Fluorescence microscopy analysis of EAF-treated EAC cells revealed DNA fragmentation, cell shrinkage, and plasma membrane blebbing. These characteristic morphological features of apoptosis influenced us to further investigate pro- and anti-apoptotic signals in EAF-treated EAC mice. Interestingly, apoptosis correlated with the upregulation of p53 and its target genes PARP-1 and Bax, and also with the down-regulation of NFκB and its target genes Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. Our results suggest that the tumor- suppressive effect of the antioxidative fraction of white mulberry is likely due to apoptosis mediated by p53 and NFκB signaling.

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Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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