Anti-Proliferative Activity of Standardized Methanol Extract of Coscinium fenestratum and Its Major Constituent, Berberine, Against Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells
Voon Yee Lin,
Gabriel Akyirem Akowuah,
Chiam Nyet Cheng,
Patrick Nwabueze Okechukwu.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), prevalent in Southeast Asia and Southern China, is a cancer that develops
from the epithelium of the nasopharynx. Current treatments of NPC patients produce undesirable complications. There is
growing interest in natural products with anti-proliferative potential to circumvent toxicity associated with synthetic anticancer
drugs and radiation. This study evaluated the anti-proliferative activity of standardized methanol extract of
Coscinium fenestratum and its major constituent, berberine against two cell lines used as a cell model for NPC. Using
HPLC analysis, the content of berberine in the methanol extract of C. fenestratum stem was standardized to be 4.0 % w/w.
C. fenestratum standardized methanol extract and berberine inhibited NPC cell proliferation in a concentration- and timedependent
manner, determined using the MTS assay. NPC cells were relatively more sensitive than untransformed human
skin keratinocyte when treated with both test substances. Cisplatin, a conventional drug, did not show this selectivity,
killing the untransformed cells first before the NPC cells. Berberine displayed higher activity, suggesting the possibility
that it is the bioactive component. Cell proliferation inhibition was verified by the decrease in Ki67 and PCNA
proliferation markers. Growth kinetics was monitored dynamically using an impedance-based system. Flow cytometry
analysis revealed that the inhibitory effect of berberine on cell cycle progression was through the arrest of the G1 phase.
Morphological changes of NPC cell lines were observed microscopically. The morphological observation and altered
growth kinetics were consistent with the cell proliferation and cell cycle progression experiments. This work showed the
anti-proliferative properties of berberine, thus its potential use in the formula of natural remedies for the treatment of
Keywords: Berberine, cell proliferation, cisplatin, Coscinium fenestratum, nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport