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1.  Beneficial Antioxidative and Antiperoxidative Effect of Cinnamaldehyde Protect Streptozotocin-Induced Pancreatic β-Cells Damage in Wistar Rats 
Biomolecules & Therapeutics  2014;22(1):47-54.
The present study was aimed to evaluate the antioxidant defense system of cinnamaldehyde in normal, diabetic rats and its possible protection of pancreatic β-cells against its gradual loss under diabetic conditions. In vitro free radical scavenging effect of cinnamaldehyde was determined using DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-dipicrylhydrazyl), superoxide radical, and nitric oxide radical. Streptozotocin (STZ) diabetic rats were orally administered with cinnamaldehyde at concentrations of 5, 10 and 20 mg/kg body weight for 45 days. At the end of the experiment, the levels of plasma lipid peroxides and antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, ceruloplasmin, catalase, superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione and glutathione peroxidase were determined. A significant increase in the levels of plasma glucose, vitamin E, ceruloplasmin, and lipid peroxides and significant decrease in the levels of plasma insulin and reduced glutathione were observed in the diabetic rats. Also the activities of pancreatic antioxidant enzymes were altered in the STZ-induced diabetic rats. The altered enzyme activities were reverted to near-normal levels after treatment with cinnamaldehyde and glibenclamide. Histopathological studies also revealed a protective effect of cinnamaldehyde on pancreatic β-cells. Cinnamaldehyde enhances the antioxidant defense against reactive oxygen species produced under hyperglycemic conditions and thus protects pancreatic β-cells against their loss and exhibits antidiabetic properties.
PMCID: PMC3936432  PMID: 24596621
Cinnamaldehyde; Diabetes; β-Islets; Streptozotocin; Cinnamonum zeylanicum
2.  Analysis of the Cytotoxic Potential of Anisomelic Acid Isolated from Anisomeles malabarica 
Scientia Pharmaceutica  2013;81(2):559-566.
Anisomelic acid (AA), one of the major compounds in Anisomeles malabarica, was tested for its cytotoxicity and apoptosis-inducing potential in breast and cervical cancer cells. The MTT assay for cell viability indicated that AA is cytotoxic to all of the four cell lines tested in a dose- and duration-dependent manner. Acridine Orange & Ethidium Bromide (AO & EB) and Hoechst 33258 staining of AA-treated cells revealed typical apoptotic morphology such as condensed chromatin and formation of apoptotic bodies. The comet assay revealed DNA strand break(s), indicating that AA induces DNA damage which culminates in apoptosis. Thus, the study revealed the anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing properties of AA in both breast and cervical cancer cells. Therefore, anisomelic acid offers potential for application in breast and cervical cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3700083  PMID: 23833721
Anisomeles malabarica; Anisomelic acid; Apoptosis; Cytotoxicity; Anti-cancer
3.  Identification of Functional SNPs in BARD1 Gene and In Silico Analysis of Damaging SNPs: Based on Data Procured from dbSNP Database 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e43939.
The BARD1 gene encodes for the BRCA1-associated RING domain (BARD1) protein. Germ line and somatic mutations in BARD1 are found in sporadic breast, ovarian and uterine cancers. There is a plethora of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which may or may not be involved in the onset of female cancers. Hence, before planning a larger population study, it is advisable to sort out the possible functional SNPs. To accomplish this goal, data available in the dbSNP database and different computer programs can be used. To the best of our knowledge, until now there has been no such study on record for the BARD1 gene. Therefore, this study was undertaken to find the functional nsSNPs in BARD1.
2.85% of all SNPs in the dbSNP database were present in the coding regions. SIFT predicted 11 out of 50 nsSNPs as not tolerable and PolyPhen assessed 27 out of 50 nsSNPs as damaging. FastSNP revealed that the rs58253676 SNP in the 3′ UTR may have splicing regulator and enhancer functions. In the 5′ UTR, rs17489363 and rs17426219 may alter the transcriptional binding site. The intronic region SNP rs67822872 may have a medium-high risk level. The protein structures 1JM7, 3C5R and 2NTE were predicted by PDBSum and shared 100% similarity with the BARD1 amino acid sequence. Among the predicted nsSNPs, rs4986841, rs111367604, rs13389423 and rs139785364 were identified as deleterious and damaging by the SIFT and PolyPhen programs. Additionally, I-Mutant showed a decrease in stability for these nsSNPs upon mutation. Finally, the ExPASy-PROSIT program revealed that the predicted deleterious mutations are contained in the ankyrin ring and BRCT domains.
Using the available bioinformatics tools and the data present in the dbSNP database, the four nsSNPs, rs4986841, rs111367604, rs13389423 and rs139785364, were identified as deleterious, reducing the protein stability of BARD1. Hence, these SNPs can be used for the larger population-based studies of female cancers.
PMCID: PMC3467277  PMID: 23056176
4.  Differential Expression Profile and Genetic Variants of MicroRNAs Sequences in Breast Cancer Patients 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30049.
The technology available for cancer diagnosis and prognosis is not yet satisfactory at the molecular level, and requires further improvements. Micro RNAs (miRNAs) have been recently reported as useful biomarkers in diseases including cancer. We performed a miRNA expression profiling study using peripheral blood from breast cancer patients to detect and identify characteristic patterns. A total of 100 breast cancer patients and 89 healthy patients were recruited for miRNA genotyping and expression profiling. We found that hs-miR-196a2 in premenopausal patients, and hs-miR-499, hs-miR-146a and hs-miR-196a2 in postmenopausal patients, may discriminate breast cancer patients from healthy individuals. In addition, we found a significant association between two microRNA polymorphisms (hs-miR-196a2 and hs-miR-499) and breast cancer risk. However, no significant association between the hs-miR-146a gene and breast cancer risk was found. In summary, the study demonstrates that peripheral blood miRNAs and their expression and genotypic profiles can be developed as biomarkers for early diagnosis and prognosis of breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3282723  PMID: 22363415
5.  Validation of the Antiproliferative Effects of Organic Extracts from the Green Husk of Juglans regia L. on PC-3 Human Prostate Cancer Cells by Assessment of Apoptosis-Related Genes 
With the increased use of plant-based cancer chemotherapy, exploring the antiproliferative effects of phytochemicals for anticancer drug design has gained considerable attention worldwide. This study was undertaken to investigate the effect of walnut green husk extracts on cell proliferation and to determine the possible molecular mechanism of extract-induced cell death by quantifying the expression of Bcl-2, Bax, caspases-3, and Tp53. PC-3 human prostate cancer cells. In this study, we found that green husk extracts suppressed proliferation and induced apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner by modulating expression of apoptosis-related genes. This involved DNA fragmentation (determined by TUNEL assay) and significant changes in levels of mRNA and the expression of corresponding proteins. An increase in expressions of Bax, caspase-3, and tp53 genes and their corresponding proteins was detected using real-time PCR and western blot analysis in PC-3 cells treated with the green husk organic extracts. In contrast, Bcl2 expression was downregulated after exposure to the extracts. Our data suggest the presence of bioactive compound(s) in walnut green husks that are capable of killing prostate carcinoma cells by inducing apoptosis and that the husks are a candidate source of anticancer drugs.
PMCID: PMC3291301  PMID: 22454652
6.  Antiproliferative property of n-hexane and chloroform extracts of Anisomeles malabarica (L). R. Br. in HPV16-positive human cervical cancer cells 
To find the efficacy of serial extracts of Anisomeles malabarica in inhibiting proliferation of and inducing apoptosis in human cervical cancer cells, SiHa and ME 180, that are HPV 16-positive.
Materials and Methods:
The whole plant was extracted in n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, methanol, and water. The cells were treated with the extracts at increasing concentrations to find the IC50, adopting MTT ([3-(4,5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide]) assay. Acridine orange (AO) and ethidium bromide (EB) and Hoechst 33258 staining were adopted to assess the mode of cell death, Annexin V-Cy3 staining to evaluate one of the early apoptotic features, JC-1 staining to assess the mitochondrial membrane depolarization, comet assay for DNA fragmentation, and cell cycle analysis for the distribution of cells after treatment.
n-Hexane and chloroform extracts were cytotoxic to the cervical cancer cells in dose- and duration-dependent manner. The cells that responded to the treatments revealed typical apoptotic features. Early features of apoptosis, phosphatidyl serine translocation and loss of mitochondrial trans-membrane potential, were observed in the treated cells, and comet assay revealed DNA damage. In the FACS analysis, the cells accumulated in the sub-G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle, except in n-hexane- and chloroform extract–treated SiHa cells at 24 h, which showed arrest in S- and G2/M phases.
n-Hexane and chloroform extracts of A. malabarica inhibit proliferation of and induce death in HPV16-positive cervical cancer cells, mostly by apoptosis and to some extent by necrosis.
PMCID: PMC3284032  PMID: 22368413
Anti-cancer; apoptosis; cell cycle arrest; cervical cancer
7.  Chloroform Extract of Rasagenthi Mezhugu, a Siddha Formulation, as an Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine for HPV-Positive Cervical Cancers 
Rasagenthi Mezhugu (RGM) is a herbomineral formulation in the Siddha system of traditional medicine and is prescribed in the southern parts of India as a remedy for all kinds of cancers. However, scientific evidence for its therapeutic efficacy in cervical cancer is lacking, and it contains heavy metals. To overcome these limitations, RGM was extracted, and the fractions were tested on HPV-positive cervical cancer cells, ME-180 and SiHa. The extracts, free from the toxic heavy metals, affected the viability of both the cells. The chloroform fraction (cRGM) induced DNA damage and apoptosis. Mitochondria-mediated apoptosis was indicated. Though both the cells responded to the treatment, ME-180 was more responsive. Thus, this study brings up scientific evidence for the efficacy of RGM against the HPV-mediated cervical cancer cells and, if the toxic heavy metals are the limitation in its use, cRGM would be a suitable candidate as evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine for HPV-positive cervical cancers.
PMCID: PMC3205714  PMID: 22114617
8.  Affinity of estrogens for human progesterone receptor A and B monomers and risk of breast cancer: a comparative molecular modeling study 
The human progesterone receptor (hPR) belongs to the steroid receptor family. It may be found as monomers (A and B) and or as a dimer (AB). hPR is regarded as the prognostic biomarker for breast cancer. In a cellular dimer system, AB is the dominant species in most cases. However, when a cell coexpresses all three isoforms of hPR, the complexity of the action of this receptor increases. For example, hPR A suppresses the activity of hPR B, and the ratio of hPR A to hPR B may determine the physiology of a breast tumor. Also, persistent exposure of hPRs to nonendogenous ligands is a common risk factor for breast cancer. Hence we aimed to study progesterone and some nonendogenous ligand interactions with hPRs and their molecular docking.
Methods and results
A pool of steroid derivatives, namely, progesterone, cholesterol, testosterone, testolectone, estradiol, estrone, norethindrone, exemestane, and norgestrel, was used for this in silico study. Dockings were performed on AutoDock 4.2. We found that estrogens, including estradiol and estrone, had a higher affinity for hPR A and B monomers in comparison with the dimer, hPR AB, and that of the endogenous progesterone ligand. hPR A had a higher affinity to all the docked ligands than hPR B.
This study suggests that the exposure of estrogens to hPR A as well as hPR B, and more particularly to hPR A alone, is a risk factor for breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC3169952  PMID: 21918635
human progesterone receptor; breast cancer; steroid derivatives; estrogens; molecular docking
9.  Predicting the possibility of two newly isolated phenetheren ring containing compounds from Aristolochia manshuriensis as CDK2 inhibitors 
Bioinformation  2011;7(7):334-338.
Aristolochia manshuriensis has been used for centuries in Chinese medicinal system for their versatile medicinal uses. Recent studies have revealed two new aristolactames (compound A and B) with γ-lactame ring fused with the phenentherene ring as potent inhibitors of human Cycline Dependent Kinase2 (CDK2). Studies on aristolactames and related compounds claim for their CDK2 inhibition without delineating the involved mechanism and structural basis of interaction. Molecular structural model was used to we propose a structural basis of CDK2 inhibition. We showed that these compounds (A and B) can successfully dock into the inhibitor binding pockets of human CDK2. Predicted binding affinities are comparable to known inhibitors of CDK2. Results were in agreement with the earlier biochemical studies. Hence, suggest that studied compounds A and B can be a promising scaffold for rational design of novel and potential drugs against cancer.
CDK2 - cyclin-dependent kinase 2, OLO - Olomoucine, NW1 - Cyclohexylmethyloxy-5-Nitroso-Pyrimidine- 2, 4-Diamine, CMG - 6-O-Cyclohexylmethyl Guanine.
PMCID: PMC3280487  PMID: 22355233
Aristolactame; Cycline Dependent Kinase2; Docking; AutoDock; Molecular docking Server
10.  Catechin hydrate suppresses MCF-7 proliferation through TP53/Caspase-mediated apoptosis 
Catechin hydrate (CH), a strong antioxidant that scavenges radicals, is a phenolic compound that is extracted from plants and is present in natural food and drinks, such as green tea and red wine. CH possesses anticancer potential. The mechanism of action of many anticancer drugs is based on their ability to induce apoptosis. In this study, I sought to characterize the downstream apoptotic genes targeted by CH in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. CH effectively kills MCF-7 cells through induction of apoptosis. Apoptosis was confirmed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) and real-time PCR assays. Cells were exposed to 150 μg/ml CH and 300 μg/mL CH for 24 hours, which resulted in 40.7% and 41.16% apoptotic cells, respectively. Moreover, a 48-hour exposure to 150 μg/ml CH and 300 μg/ml CH resulted in 43.73% and 52.95% apoptotic cells, respectively. Interestingly, after 72 hours of exposure to both concentrations of CH, almost 100% of cells lost their integrity. These results were further confirmed by the increased expression of caspase-3,-8, and -9 and TP53 in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner, as determined by real-time quantitative PCR. In summary, the induction of apoptosis by CH is affected by its ability to increase the expression of pro-apoptotic genes such as caspase-3, -8, and -9 and TP53.
PMCID: PMC3019143  PMID: 21167021
11.  Induction of apoptosis in HeLa cells by chloroform fraction of seed extracts of Nigella sativa 
Cancer remains one of the most dreaded diseases causing an astonishingly high death rate, second only to cardiac arrest. The fact that conventional and newly emerging treatment procedures like chemotherapy, catalytic therapy, photodynamic therapy and radiotherapy have not succeeded in reverting the outcome of the disease to any drastic extent, has made researchers investigate alternative treatment options. The extensive repertoire of traditional medicinal knowledge systems from various parts of the world are being re-investigated for their healing properties. This study progresses in the direction of identifying component(s) from Nigella sativa with anti cancer acitivity. In the present study we investigated the efficacy of Organic extracts of Nigella sativa seed powder for its clonogenic inhibition and induction of apoptosis in HeLa cancer cell.
Methanolic, n-Hexane and chloroform extracts of Nigella sativa seedz effectively killed HeLa cells. The IC50 values of methanolic, n-hexane, and chloroform extracts of Nigella sativa were 2.28 μg/ml, 2.20 μg/ml and 0.41 ng/ml, respectively. All three extracts induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. Apoptosis was confirmed by DNA fragmentation, western blot and terminal transferase-mediated dUTP-digoxigenin-end labeling (TUNEL) assay.
Western Blot and TUNEL results suggested that Nigella sativa seed extracts regulated the expression of pro- and anti- apoptotic genes, indicating its possible development as a potential therapeutic agent for cervical cancer upon further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2794855  PMID: 19943925

Results 1-11 (11)