Calotropis gigantea extract induces apoptosis through extrinsic/intrinsic pathways and reactive oxygen species generation in A549 and NCI-H1299 non-small cell lung cancer cells

Research paper by Jiyon Lee, Hui-Ju Jang, Hyunwoo Chun, Thu-Huyen Pham, Yesol Bak, Jong-Woon Shin, Hang Jin, Yong-In Kim, Hyung Won Ryu, Sei Ryang Oh, Do-Young Yoon

Indexed on: 06 Mar '20Published on: 18 Jun '19Published in: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine


Calotropis gigantea (CG) is a tall and waxy flower that is used as a traditional remedy for fever, indigestion, rheumatism, leprosy, and leukoderma. However, the precise mechanisms of its anticancer effects have not yet been examined in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. In this study, we investigated whether CG extract exerted an apoptotic effect in A549 and NCI-H1299 NSCLC cells.The ethanol extract of CG was prepared, and its apoptotic effects on A549 and NCI-H1299 NSCLC cells were assessed by using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxy methoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assay, annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide (PI) staining, cell cycle analysis, real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), western blotting, JC-1 staining, and ROS detection assay.The CG extract induced apoptosis through the stimulation of intrinsic and extrinsic signaling pathways in A549 and NCI-H1299 lung cancer cells. Cell cycle arrest was induced by the CG extract in both cell lines. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can induce cell death, were also generated in the CG-treated A549 and NCI-H1299 cells.These data confirmed that CG caused apoptosis through the activation of extrinsic and intrinsic pathways, cell cycle arrest, and ROS generation in A549 and NCI-H1299 lung cancer cells. Thus, CG can be suggested as a potential agent for lung cancer therapy.

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