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1.  The centella asiatica juice effects on DNA damage, apoptosis and gene expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) 
Background
This paper is to investigate the effects of Centella asiatica on HepG2 (human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line). Centella asiatica is native to the Southeast Asia that is used as a traditional medicine. This study aims to determine the chemopreventive effects of the Centella asiatica juice on human HepG2 cell line.
Methods
Different methods including flow cytometry, comet assay and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) were used to show the effects of juice exposure on the level of DNA damage and the reduction of cancerous cells. MTT assay is a colorimetric method applied to measure the toxic effects of juice on cells.
Results
The Centella asiatica juice was not toxic to normal cells. It showed cytotoxic effects on tumor cells in a dose dependent manner. Apoptosis in cells was started after being exposed for 72 hr of dose dependent. It was found that the higher percentage of apoptotic cell death and DNA damage was at the concentration above 0.1%. In addition, the juice exposure caused the reduction of c-myc gene expression and the enhancement of c-fos and c-erbB2 gene expressions in tumor cells.
Conclusions
It was concluded that the Centella asiatica juice reduced liver tumor cells. Thus, it has the potential to be used as a chemopreventive agent to prevent and treat liver cancer.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-32
PMCID: PMC3900269  PMID: 24444147
Centella asiatica juice; DNA damage; Apoptosis; Gene expression; Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
2.  Selective apoptosis induction in MCF-7 cell line by truncated minimal functional region of Apoptin 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:488.
Background
Chicken Anemia Virus (CAV) VP3 protein (also known as Apoptin), a basic and proline-rich protein has a unique capability in inducing apoptosis in cancer cells but not in normal cells. Five truncated Apoptin proteins were analyzed to determine their selective ability to migrate into the nucleus of human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells for inducing apoptosis.
Methods
For identification of the minimal selective domain for apoptosis, the wild-type Apoptin gene had been reconstructed by PCR to generate segmental deletions at the N’ terminal and linked with nuclear localization sites (NLS1 and NLS2). All the constructs were fused with maltose-binding protein gene and individually expressed by in vitro Rapid Translation System. Standardized dose of proteins were delivered into human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells and control human liver Chang cells by cytoplasmic microinjection, and subsequently observed for selective apoptosis effect.
Results
Three of the truncated Apoptin proteins with N-terminal deletions spanning amino acid 32–83 retained the cancer selective nature of wild-type Apoptin. The proteins were successfully translocated to the nucleus of MCF-7 cells initiating apoptosis, whereas non-toxic cytoplasmic retention was observed in normal Chang cells. Whilst these truncated proteins retained the tumour-specific death effector ability, the specificity for MCF-7 cells was lost in two other truncated proteins that harbor deletions at amino acid 1–31. The detection of apoptosing normal Chang cells and MCF-7 cells upon cytoplasmic microinjection of these proteins implicated a loss in Apoptin’s signature targeting activity.
Conclusions
Therefore, the critical stretch spanning amino acid 1–31 at the upstream of a known hydrophobic leucine-rich stretch (LRS) was strongly suggested as one of the prerequisite region in Apoptin for cancer targeting. Identification of this selective domain provides a platform for developing small targets to facilitating carrier-mediated-transport across cellular membrane, simultaneously promoting protein delivery for selective and effective breast cancer therapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-13-488
PMCID: PMC4015422  PMID: 24144306
VP3; Apoptin; MCF7 cells; Chang cells; Apoptosis; Microinjection; Truncation
3.  Suppressions of Serotonin-Induced Increased Vascular Permeability and Leukocyte Infiltration by Bixa orellana Leaf Extract 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:463145.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activities of aqueous extract of Bixa orellana (AEBO) leaves and its possible mechanisms in animal models. The anti-inflammatory activity of the extract was evaluated using serotonin-induced rat paw edema, increased peritoneal vascular permeability, and leukocyte infiltrations in an air-pouch model. Nitric oxide (NO), indicated by the sum of nitrites and nitrates, and vascular growth endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were measured in paw tissues of rats to determine their involvement in the regulation of increased permeability. Pretreatments with AEBO (50 and 150 mg kg−1) prior to serotonin inductions resulted in maximum inhibitions of 56.2% of paw volume, 45.7% of Evans blue dye leakage in the peritoneal vascular permeability model, and 83.9% of leukocyte infiltration in the air-pouch model. 57.2% maximum inhibition of NO and 27% of VEGF formations in rats' paws were observed with AEBO at the dose of 150 mg kg−1. Pharmacological screening of the extract showed significant (P < 0.05) anti-inflammatory activity, indicated by the suppressions of increased vascular permeability and leukocyte infiltration. The inhibitions of these inflammatory events are probably mediated via inhibition of NO and VEGF formation and release.
doi:10.1155/2013/463145
PMCID: PMC3808716  PMID: 24224164
4.  Analysis of MTHFR and MTRR Gene Polymorphisms in Iranian Ventricular Septal Defect Subjects 
Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is one of the most common types of congenital heart defects (CHD). There are vivid multifactorial causes for VSD in which both genetic and environmental risk factors are consequential in the development of CHD. Methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) are two of the key regulatory enzymes involved in the metabolic pathway of homocysteine. Genes involved in homocysteine/folate metabolism may play an important role in CHDs. In this study; we determined the association of A66G and C524T polymorphisms of the MTRR gene and C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene in Iranian VSD subjects. A total of 123 children with VSDs and 125 healthy children were included in this study. Genomic DNA was extracted from the buccal cells of all the subjects. The restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction (PCR-RFLP) method was carried out to amplify the A66G and C524T polymorphism of MTRR and C677T polymorphism of MTHFR genes digested with Hinf1, Xho1 and Nde1 enzymes, respectively. The genotype frequencies of CC, CT and TT of MTRR gene among the studied cases were 43.1%, 40.7% and 16.3%, respectively, compared to 52.8%, 43.2% and 4.0%, respectively among the controls. For the MTRR A66G gene polymorphism, the genotypes frequencies of AA, AG and GG among the cases were 33.3%, 43.9% and 22.8%, respectively, while the frequencies were 49.6%, 42.4% and 8.0%, respectively, among control subjects. The frequencies for CC and CT genotypes of the MTHFR gene were 51.2% and 48.8%, respectively, in VSD patients compared to 56.8% and 43.2% respectively, in control subjects. Apart from MTHFR C677T polymorphism, significant differences were noticed (p < 0.05) in C524T and A66G polymorphisms of the MTRR gene between cases and control subjects.
doi:10.3390/ijms14022739
PMCID: PMC3588012  PMID: 23358257
MTHFR; MTRR; polymorphism; congenital heart disease; ventricular septal defect
5.  Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid improves spatial learning and hippocampal Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors (PPARα and PPARγ) gene expression in rats 
BMC Neuroscience  2012;13:109.
Background
This study examined the effects of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) as different n-6: n-3 ratios on spatial learning and gene expression of peroxisome- proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) in the hippocampus of rats. Thirty male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly allotted into 3 groups of ten animals each and received experimental diets with different n-6: n-3 PUFA ratios of either 65:1, 22:1 or 4.5:1. After 10 weeks, the spatial memory of the animals was assessed using the Morris Water Maze test. The expression of PPARα and PPARγ genes were determined using real-time PCR.
Results
Decreasing dietary n-6: n-3 PUFA ratios improved the cognitive performance of animals in the Morris water maze test along with the upregulation of PPARα and PPARγ gene expression. The animals with the lowest dietary n-6: n-3 PUFA ratio presented the highest spatial learning improvement and PPAR gene expression.
Conclusion
It can be concluded that modulation of n-6: n-3 PUFA ratios in the diet may lead to increased hippocampal PPAR gene expression and consequently improved spatial learning and memory in rats.
doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-109
PMCID: PMC3465241  PMID: 22989138
PUFA; n-6: n-3 PUFA ratio; Spatial learning; PPAR; Cognitive function
6.  In vitro evaluation of Pandanus amaryllifolius ethanol extract for induction of cell death on non-hormone dependent human breast adenocarcinoma MDA-MB-231 cell via apoptosis 
Background
Our previous study had shown that P. amaryllifolius was able to selectively inhibit cell proliferation of hormone independent breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. To understand the mode of killing and mechanism of action for P. amaryllifolius, the ethanol extract was evaluated for their alteration of cell cycle progression, PS externalization, DNA fragmentation and expression of anti/pro-apoptotic related protein.
Results
Cell cycle progression analysis, Annexin V and Tunel assays suggested that IC50 of P. amaryllifolius ethanol extract induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest, PS externalization and DNA fragmentation. On the other hand, ELISA for cytochrome c, caspase-3/7, 8 and 9 indicated that apoptosis was contributed by mitochondrial cytochrome c release via induction of caspase 3/7, 9, and p53 was associated with the suppression of XIAP in P. amaryllifolius treated MDA-MB-231 cells.
Conclusion
Our findings suggest that P. amaryllifolius ethanol extract induced apoptosis on hormone independent breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-134
PMCID: PMC3479033  PMID: 22909149
Pandanus amaryllifolius; MDA-MB-231; Apoptosis; Cytochrome c; Caspase
7.  In vitro cytotoxicity of Strobilanthes crispus ethanol extract on hormone dependent human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cell 
Background
Strobilanthes crispus has been traditionally used as antidiabetic, anticancer, diuretic, antilytic and laxative agent. However, cytotoxicity and antiproliferative effect of S. crispus is still unclear.
Results
Strobilanthes cripus was able to reduce cell viability and proliferation in MTT and BrdU assays. Both cell cycle progression and Tunel assay suggested that IC50 of S. crispus ethanol extract induced sub-G1 cell cycle phase, and DNA fragmentation. On the other hand, translocation of mitochondria cytochrome c release, induction of caspase 3/7 and p53 while suppress XIAP on treated MCF-7 cell were also observed in this study.
Conclusion
Our findings suggest that S. crispus ethanol extract induced apoptosis and DNA fragmentation on hormone dependent breast cancer cell line MCF-7 via mitochondria dependent p53 apoptosis pathway.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-35
PMCID: PMC3377542  PMID: 22471785
Strobilanthes crispus; MCF-7; Apoptosis; p53
8.  Effect of Neem Leaf Extract (Azadirachta indica) on c-Myc Oncogene Expression in 4T1 Breast Cancer Cells of BALB/c Mice 
Cell Journal (Yakhteh)  2012;14(1):53-60.
Objective:
Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women both worldwide and in Malaysia. Azadirachta indica (A. Juss), commonly known as neem, is one of the most versatile medicinal plants that has gained worldwide prominence due to its medicinal properties. However, the anticancer effect of ethanolic neem leaf extract against breast cancer has not been documented. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of neem leaf extract on c-Myc oncogene expression in 4T1 breast cancer BALB/c mice.
Materials and Methods:
In this experimental study, A total of 48 female BALB/c mice were divided randomly into four groups of 12 mice per group: i.cancer control (CC) treated with 0.5% Tween 20 in PBS, ii. 0.5 µg/mL tamoxifen citrate (CT), iii. 250 mg/kg neem leaf extract (C250), and iv. 500 mg/kg neem leaf extract (C500). in situ reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (in situ RT-PCR) was applied to evaluate suppression of c-Myc oncogene expression in breast cancer tissue.
Results:
The C500 group showed significant (p<0.05) suppression of c-Myc oncogene expression compared to the CC group.
Conclusion:
c-Myc was found to be down regulated under the effect of 500 mg/kg ethanolic neem leaf extract.
PMCID: PMC3635821  PMID: 23626938
Breast Cancer; c-Myc Gene; Primed in situ Labelling
9.  Extract of Azadirachta indica (Neem) Leaf Induces Apoptosis in 4T1 Breast Cancer BALB/c Mice 
Cell Journal (Yakhteh)  2011;13(2):107-116.
Objective:
Azadirachta indica (Neem) has been used traditionally for many centuries. Some impressive therapeutic qualities have been discovered. However, the therapeutic effect of neem leaf extract in 4T1 breast cancer has not been documented. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the therapeutic effect of ethanolic Neem leaf extract in an in vivo 4T1 breast cancer model in mice.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 84 female BALB/c mice were divided randomly into 7 groups (3 non-cancerous groups and 4 cancerous groups) consisting of 12 mice per group. The 3 non-cancerous groups were normal mice treated with 0.5% of Tween 20 in phosphate buffer saline (PBS) (NC), 250 mg/kg Neem (N250) or 500 mg/kg Neem (N500). The 4 cancerous groups were; cancer controls treated with 0.5% of Tween 20 in PBS (CC), and cancerous mice treated with 0.5 µg/mL tamoxifen citrate (CT), 250 mg/kg Neem leaf extract (CN 250) or 500 mg/kg Neem leaf extract (CN 500). Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assays were used to evaluate apoptosis (cell death) in the breast cancer tissues. SPSS software, version 14 was used for statistical analysis. Statistical significance was defined as p≤0.05. Non parametric analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed with the Kruskal Wallis test for the TUNEL assays. Parametric data among the groups was compared using ANOVA.
Results:
TUNEL assays showed that the CN 250 and CN 500 groups had a higher incidence of apoptosis compared with the cancer controls.
Conclusion:
The findings showed that neem leaf extract induces apoptosis in 4T1 breast cancer BALB/c mice.
PMCID: PMC3584456  PMID: 23507990
Breast Cancer; Apoptosis; Neem; TUNEL
10.  Effects of Conjugated Linoleic Acid, Fish Oil and Soybean Oil on PPARs (α & γ) mRNA Expression in Broiler Chickens and Their Relation to Body Fat Deposits 
An experiment was conducted on broiler chickens to study the effects of different dietary fats (Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), fish oil, soybean oil, or their mixtures, as well as palm oil, as a more saturated fat), with a as fed dose of 7% for single fat and 3.5 + 3.5% for the mixtures, on Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) gene expression and its relation with body fat deposits. The CLA used in this experiment was CLA LUTA60 which contained 60% CLA, so 7% and 3.5% dietary inclusions of CLA LUTA60 were equal to 4.2% and 2.1% CLA, respectively. Higher abdominal fat pad was found in broiler chickens fed with a diet containing palm oil compared to chickens in the other experimental groups (P ≤ 0.05). The diets containing CLA resulted in an increased fat deposition in the liver of broiler chickens (P ≤ 0.05). The only exception was related to the birds fed with diets containing palm oil or fish oil + soybean oil, where contents of liver fat were compared to the CLA + fish oil treatment. PPARγ gene in adipose tissue of chickens fed with palm oil diet was up-regulated compared to other treatments (P ≤ 0.001), whereas no significant differences were found in adipose PPARγ gene expression between chickens fed with diets containing CLA, fish oil, soybean oil or the mixture of these fats. On the other hand, the PPARα gene expression in liver tissue was up-regulated in response to the dietary fish oil inclusion and the differences were also significant for both fish oil and CLA + fish oil diets compared to the diets with palm oil, soybean oil or CLA as the only oil source (P ≤ 0.001). In conclusion, the results of present study showed that there was a relationship between the adipose PPARγ gene up-regulation and abdominal fat pad deposition for birds fed with palm oil diet, while no deference was detected in n-3 and n-6 fatty acids, as well as CLA on PPARγ down regulation in comparison to a more saturated fat. When used on its own, fish oil was found to be a more effective fat in up-regulating hepatic PPARα gene expression and this effect was related to a less fat deposition in liver tissue. A negative correlation coefficient (−0.3) between PPARα relative gene expression and liver tissue fat content confirm the anti-lipogenic effect of PPARα, however, the change in these parameters was not completely parallel.
doi:10.3390/ijms12128581
PMCID: PMC3257090  PMID: 22272093
CLA; PUFA; PPARs; broiler chickens
11.  Antiproliferative Properties of Clausine-B against Cancer Cell Lines 
Background:
Clausine B, a carbazole alkaloid isolated from the stem bark of Clausena excavata, was investigated for its antiproliferative activities against five human cancer cell lines: HepG2 (hepatic cancer), MCF-7 (hormone-dependent breast cancer), MDA-MB-231 (non-hormone-dependent breast cancer), HeLa (cervical cancer), and CAOV3 (ovarian cancer).
Methods:
Chang liver (normal cells) was used as a control. The effect of clausine-B was measured using the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay.
Results:
Clausine-B was found to be active (IC50<30 μg/mL) against four of the cancer cell lines tested. The IC50 values for these four lines were: 21.50 μg/mL (MDA-MB-231), 22.90 g/ml (HeLa), 27.00 μg/mL (CAOV3) and 28.94 μg/mL (HepG2). Clausine-B inhibited the MCF-7 cancer cell line at 52.90 μg/mL, and no IC50 value was obtained against Chang liver.
Conclusion:
It is possible that the phenolic group in clausine-B responsible for the antiproliferative activities found in this study.
PMCID: PMC3329138  PMID: 22589662
Clausine-B; Clausena excavata; ethnopharmacology; cell survival; medical sciences
12.  Absence of Ras, c-myc and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) Mutations in Human Gliomas and its Clinical Factors Associated with Pathological Grading After Six Years of Diagnosis in North East Malaysian Patients 
Neoplastic transformation appears to be a multi-step process in which the normal controls of cell proliferation and cell-cell interaction are lost, thus transforming normal cells into cancer. The tumorigenic process involves the interplay between oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes. In this study, we have selected the ras family, c-myc and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) genes to detect whether their abnormalities are associated with the expression and progression of glioma cases in Malay patients. We have used the polymerase chain reaction-single stranded conformation polymorphism followed by direct sequencing for the study. For the ras gene family, we screened the point mutations in codons 12 and 61 of the H-, K-, and N-ras gene; for EGFR and c-myc, we analyzed only the exon 1 in glioma samples. In mutational screening analyses of the ras family, c-myc and EGFR gene, there was no mobility shift observed in any tumour analyzed. All patterns of single stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP) band observed in tumour samples were normal compared to those in normal samples. The DNA sequencing results in all high-grade tumours showed that all base sequences were normal. All 48 patients survived after five years of treatment. In simple logistic regression analysis, variables which were found to be significant were hemiplegia (p=0.047) and response radiotherapy (p=0.003). Hemiplegics were 25 times more likely to have high pathological grade compared to those without. Patients with vascular involvement were 5.5 times more likely to have higher pathological grade. However, these findings were not significant in multivariate analysis. Patients who had radiotherapy were nearly 14 times more likely to have higher pathological grade. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients with hemiplegia were more likely to have higher pathological grade (p= 0.008). Those with higher pathological grading were 80 times more likely to have radiotherapy (p=0.004).
PMCID: PMC3349398  PMID: 22605955
Ras gene; c-myc; EGFR; Gliomas; Malaysia
13.  An Overview on the Development of Newcastle Disease Virus as an Anti-Cancer Therapy 
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is one of the most economically important avian virus which affects the poultry industry worldwide. Although NDV is being very actively studied in Malaysia, there are still no studies on its potential as an anticancer agent, a new approach to treating cancer known as virotherapy. Currently, a collaborative research is being undertaken between Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Majlis Kanser Nasional (MAKNA) in characterising various local NDV isolates as anticancer agent. This paper describes an overview of the research that have been carried out worldwide in the use of NDV for cancer treatment and also some of our findings in characterising local NDVs with oncolytic properties.
PMCID: PMC3557104  PMID: 23365495
Newcastle disease virus; anticancer agent; apoptosis

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