Journal article

Galenia africana plant extract exhibits cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells by inducing multiple programmed cell death pathways

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Publication Details

Author list: Mohamed L, Chakraborty S, ArulJothi KN, Mabasa L, Sayah K, Costa-Lotufo LV, Jardine A, Prince S

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal

Volume number: 28

Issue number: 10

Start page: 1155

End page: 1165

Total number of pages: 11

ISSN: 1319-0164


Globally, breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women and the second most common cause of
cancer-related death among women. There is therefore a need to identify more efficacious therapies for
this neoplasm. Galenia africana (Kraalbos) is a perennial shrub found in Southern Africa and is used by the
indigenous people to treat various ailments. There has therefore been much interest to establish the scientific
basis for the medicinal properties of Kraalbos. This study aimed to investigate and characterise the
anti-cancer activity of an ethanolic extract of Kraalbos leaves, KB2, against oestrogen receptor positive
(MCF-7) and triple negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cells. LC-MS/MS analyses identified the phytochemicals
70-hydroxyflavanone, 50,7’-dihydroxyflavanone, 20,40-dihydroxydihydrochalcone and 20,40-dihy
droxychalcone in KB2. KB2 exhibited an IC50 of 114 mg/ml and 130.5 mg/ml in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231
cells respectively, selectively inhibited their long-term survival and reduced their migration which correlated
with a decrease in EMT markers. It induced oxidative stress (ROS), DNA damage (increased levels
of c-H2AX), and triggered cell cycle arrests in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Importantly, KB2 activated
intrinsic (cleaved caspase 9) and extrinsic (cleaved caspase 8) apoptosis, necroptosis (p-RIP3 and the
downstream target of the necrosome, pMLKL) and autophagy (LC3II). Co-treatment of the breast cancer
cells with KB2 and the autophagy inhibitor bafilomycin A1 resulted in a significant increase in cell viability
which suggests that KB2 induced autophagy is a cell death mechanism.


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Last updated on 2021-09-03 at 13:12