Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of extracts from Urginea maritime fruits
Background: Increasing antibiotic resistance among human pathogenic microorganisms and the failure of conventional cancer therapies attracting great attention among scientists in the field of herbal medicine to develop natural antimicrobial and anticancer drugs. Thus, the antimicrobial and anticancer activities from fruits of the medicinal plant Urginea maritima (L.) Baker that unexplored previously were investigated in this study.
Materials and Methods: Fruits of U. maritima plant were collected, dried, ground, and extracted by hot water, ethanol, methanol, and acetone. The fruit extracts were examined for their potential as antimicrobial and anticancer agents using the agar well diffusion method and MTT assay, respectively. The gene expression of some cancer-related gene markers was determined by RT-PCR.
Results: All fruit extracts of U. maritima exhibited antibacterial activity against S. aureus and E. coli. Methanol and ethanol extracts exhibited anticandidal activity. Ethanol and acetone extracts displayed non-hemolytic activity and selective cytotoxicity against breast cancer MCF7 cells with IC50 values that considered as active treatments. Concerning DNA fragmentation and gene expression after treatment of MCF7 cells with the most promising acetone extract, induction of apoptosis was proposed. The expression of cancer-related gene TNF after 6 hours, tumor suppressor genes (p53 and BRCA1), and immune response genes (IL-2 and IL-6) was induced. The expression of anti-apoptotic gene Bcl2 in treated MCF7 cells was reduced.
Conclusion: Fruit extracts of U. maritima exhibited antimicrobial and anticancer activities. This result may lead to the use of these extracts for treatment of some infectious diseases and certain types of cancer.
Keywords: Urginea maritime; antibacterial; antifungal; anticancer; gene expression