Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

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Screening of five Sri Lankan endemic plants for anti-cancer effects on breast cancer stem cells isolated from MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines

Umapriyatharshini Rajagopalan, Sameera R. Samarakoon, Kamani H. Tennekoon, Neelika Malavige, E.D. de Silva


Purpose: To screen selected endemic plants grown in Sri Lanka on breast cancer stem cells (bCSCs) for their anti-cancer properties

Methods: Breast-CSCs expressing CD24-/CD44+ surface markers were isolated from MDA-MB-231 cells by magnetic-assisted cell sorting method and validated using flow cytometry. A panel of forty extracts from barks and leaves of Doona nervosa, Garcinia quaesita, Garcinia zeylanica, Memecylon rostratum and Schumacheria castaneifolia were obtained by sequential solvent extraction and tested on bCSC-mammospheres derived from MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells and normal mammary epithelial (MCF-10A) cells. Proliferation and cell stemness were analyzed using WST-1 cell proliferation assay and alkaline phosphatase assay.

Results: Hexane and chloroform extracts of G. zeylanica and G. quaesita barks showed dosedependent reduction in proliferation and stemness in both bCSCs tested with less effect on MCF-10A cells. Hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of S. castaneifolia bark selectively inhibited mammospheres of triple negative bCSCs cells.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the non-polar extracts of G. zeylanica and G. quaesita, S. castaneifolia barks inhibit the proliferation of bCSCs of triple negative and estrogen-progesterone positive breast cancers. Findings of the present study may useful for developing a future anti-cancer therapeutics which can target bCSCs.

Keywords: Cancer stem cells, Garcinia zeylanica, Garcinia quaesita, Schumacheria castaneifolia, Mammospheres

AJOL African Journals Online