Momordica cochinchinensis Aril Extract Induced Apoptosis in Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015 ;16(13):5507-13. PMID: 26225702
Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng (MC) has been used in traditional medicine due to its high carotenoid content. The objective of this study was to investigate mechanisms underlying apoptotic effects of MC on human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. A lycopene-enriched aril extract of MC (AE) showed cytotoxicity and antiestrogenicity to MCF-7 cells. On DAPI staining, AE induced cell shrinkage and chromatin condensation were evident. With flow cytometric analysis, AE increased the percentage of cells in an early apoptosis stage when compared with the control group. RT-PCR analysis showed AE to significantly increase the expression of the proapoptotic bax gene without effect on expression of the anti-apoptotic bcl-2 gene. Moreover, AE enhanced caspase 6, 8 and 9 activity. Taken together, we conclude that AE of MC fruit has anticancer effects on human MCF-7 breast cancer cells by induction of cell apoptosis via both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of signaling.