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European Journal of Medicinal Plants, ISSN: 2231-0894,Vol.: 5, Issue.: 3


Autophagy Inhibition Enhances the Mitochondrial-Mediated Apoptosis Induced by Mangrove (Avicennia marina) Extract in Human Breast Cancer Cells


Luke Esau1, Sunil Sagar1, Vladimir B. Bajic1 and Mandeep Kaur1*

1King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC), Thuwal 23955-6900, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Article Information
(1) Thomas Efferth, Chair, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany.
(2) Marcello Iriti, Faculty of Plant Biology and Pathology, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Milan State University, Italy.
(1) Sahar Mohamed Kamal Shams El Dine, Pharmacology dept, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.
(2) Anonymous, Yamagata University, Japan.
Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/7245


Aims: Avicennia marina (AM) is a widely distributed mangrove plant that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries for the treatment of a number of diseases. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the leaf ethyl acetate extract of AM for its cytotoxic and apoptotic potential along with in-depth investigations of its mechanism of action in breast cancer MCF-7 cells.
Study Design: The ethyl acetate extract of leaves and stems of AM was tested against estrogen positive breast cancer cell line MCF-7 using various assays.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, from July 2013-June 2014.
Methodology: Dose- and time-dependent growth inhibition of cancer cells was measured using MTT assay. The mechanisms of apoptosis induction were determined using various assays: phosphatidylserine exposure, caspase-3/7 activation, mitochondrial membrane potential disruption, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, cell cycle analysis, autophagy, and protein expression using western blotting. The modulation of apoptotic genes (p53, Mdm2, NF-kB, Bad, Bax, Bcl-2 and Casp7) was also determined using real time PCR.
Results: The AM extract inhibited breast cancer cell growth and induced apoptosis in a concentration dependent manner. We demonstrated a non-classical mode of apoptosis induction in MCF-7 cells by AM extract, where ROS production altered the mitochondrial membrane potential to induce apoptosis. Breast cancer cells treated with 200 µg/ml concentration of AM extract showed increased ROS production and disrupted MMP but no PARP-1 cleavage and a marked decrease in Caspase-7 protein levels (24 and 48 h) were detected. A significant amount of autophagy was also observed at the same concentration. However, treatment of MCF-7 cells with 200 µg/ml of AM extract along with the inhibition of autophagy by chloroquine, significantly increased the apoptosis from 20% to 45%.
Conclusion: Our data provide evidence that AM extract triggers ROS-mediated autophagy as well as caspase-independent apoptosis. The results also strengthen the view that concurrent targeting of apoptotic and autophagic pathways may provide effective therapeutic strategy against cancer.

Keywords :

Mangrove; breast cancer; apoptosis; autophagy; reactive oxygen species; caspases.

Full Article - PDF    Supplementary Files    Page 304-317

DOI : 10.9734/EJMP/2015/14181

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