Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng. seed extract suppresses breast cancer growth by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.
Mol Med Rep. 2015 Aug 5. Epub 2015 Aug 5. PMID: 26252798
The herb Momordica cochinchinensis has been used for a variety of purposes, and been shown to have anti‑cancer properties. The present study assessed the potency and the underlying mechanisms of action of the ethyl acetate extract of seeds of Momordica cochinchinensis (ESMC2) on breast cancer cells. Therefore, the effects of ESMC2 on the cell viability, cell cycle and apoptosis of MDA‑MB‑231 cells were investigated. The results showed that ESMC2 exerted a marked growth inhibitory effect on the cells. Cell cycle arrest in G2 phase following treatment with ESMC2 was associated with a marked increase in the protein levels of cyclin B1, cyclin E and cyclin-dependent kinase 1 and a decreasein cyclin D1 expression. In addition, ESMC2 dose‑dependently induced cell apoptosis, which was mediated via upregulation of the apoptosis-associated proteins p53, B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl‑2)‑associated X protein, Bcl-2 homologous antagonist killer and Bcl-2-associated death promoter expression, as well as downregulation of nuclear factor kappa B, Bcl‑2 and myeloid cell leukemia‑1. Furthermore, the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and Akt phosphorylation were decreased by ESMC2 in a dose‑dependent manner, indicating thatESMC2 exerted its effects via the mitogen-activated protein kinase/JNK pathway. Furthermore, nude mouse xenotransplant models were used to evaluate the tumor growth inhibitory effects of ESMC2. The possible chemical components of ESMC2 were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and 12 compounds were detected from the major peaks based on the similarity index with entries of a compound database. The results of the present study may aid in the development of novel therapies for breast cancer.