Background and Objective: Herbal extracts and plant compounds are increasingly becoming of interest for their therapeutic potential in various cancer types. Momordica charantia is well known for its anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
Methods: In the present study, we investigated the antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of Momordica charantia seed and aryl extracts on breast cancer cells and explored the underlying molecular mechanisms.
Results: Our results showed that both extract significantly inhibited the growth of MCF-7 and MDA MB-231 cells in a concentration-dependent manner, and induced apoptosis by upregulation of caspase 9 and caspase 3 mRNA levels. In addition, in different incubation time, both extract evidently inhibited EGF and induced EGFR phosphorylation/activation in both cell lines. Moreover, Momordica charantia aryl and seed extracts inhibited phosphorylation/activation of PI3K/AKT and MAPK (ERK and P38) pathways in both cell lines.
Conclusion: The current study clearly demonstrates that the Momordica charantia aryl and seed extracts have the potential to exert its cytotoxic effect on breast cancer cells by a mechanism involving inhibition of EGFR and EGRF related pathways with the induction of apoptosis. The overall finding demonstrates that this plant, especially seed extract, could be a potential source of new anticancer compounds for possible drug development against cancer.
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