Effects of Allium hirtifolium (Iranian shallot) and its allicin on microtubule and cancer cell lines

  • HG Azadi
  • GH Riazi
  • SM Ghaffari
  • S Ahmadian
  • TJ Khalife
Keywords: Allium hirtifolium, cell proliferation, microtubule assembly dynamic, tubulin, SH containing protein.


Allium hirtifolim Boiss. (Iranian Shallot) belongs to Allium genus (Alliaceae family). Microtubule proteins (MTs) are crucial in maintenance of cell shape as well as cell division and mitosis. The present study aims at defining the anti-microtubule activities of A. hirtifolium and its allicin and examining its
effects on nerve cell microtubules. MTs were prepared from sheep brain through two cycles of polymerization and depolymerization. The cell growth inhibition was measured by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol 2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) after treatment with A. hirtifolium and its allicin on HeLa and MCF-7 and L-929 cell lines. A. hirtifolium displayed growth inhibitory activity against HeLa and MCF-7 cells with IC (50) value of 20 and 24 mg/L, respectively, for 72 h and obviously showed cell
growth inhibition on these cell lines at non-toxic concentration (lower than 1 g/L). Inhibition of MTs polymerization induced by A. hirtifolium and its ability to bind to tubulin as a ligand was tested through turbidimetry assay then investigated by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The concentration of A. hirtifolium necessary to inhibit the assembly of MTs by 50% was 1.2 g/L, while an inhibition higher than 80% was observed in the presence of 4 g/L of A. hirtifolium. This plant decreased MTs
polymerization; therefore we suggest A. hirtifolium can be an effective ligand for cancer therapy.

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