Moringa oleifera's Nutritious Aqueous Leaf Extract Has Anticancerous Effects by Compromising Mitochondrial Viability in an ROS-Dependent Manner.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Jun 17:1-10. Epub 2016 Jun 17. PMID: 27314649
INTRODUCTION: Moringa oleifera (MO) is an important dietary component for many populations in West Africa and the Indian subcontinent. In addition to its highly nutritious value, almost all parts of this plant have been widely used in folk medicine in curing infectious, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hepatic, and other diseases. Evidence-based research supported its versatile medicinal properties; however, more rigorous research is required to establish it in cancer therapy. As such, in this study we aim to investigate the in vitro anticancerous effect of Moringa oleifera's aqueous leaf extract.
METHODS: Moringa extract was prepared by soaking pulverized leaves in hot water mimicking the people's mode of the leaf drink preparation. Several assays were used to study the effect of different percentage concentrations of the extract on viability of A549 cells; levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and glutathione (GSH) generated; as well as percentage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) released at different time points. In addition to mitochondrial membrane potential, apoptotic events were assessed using western blotting for apoptotic markers and immunoflourescent flourescent labeled inhibitor of caspases (FLICA) assay.
RESULTS: MO extract treatment resulted in a significant decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential (1 hour) and ATP levels (3 hours), followed by an increase in (6 hours) ROS, caspase activation, proapoptotic proteins expression (p53, SMAC/Diablo, AIF), and PARP-1 cleavage. This eventually resulted in decreased GSH levels and a decrease in viability. The cytotoxic effect was prevented upon pretreatment with antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine. MO decreased as well the viability of HepG2, CaCo2, Jurkat, and HEK293 cells.
CONCLUSION: Our findings identify a plant extract with an anticancerous effect on cancer cell lines. MO extract exerts its cytotoxic effect in A549 cancer cells by affecting mitochondrial viability and inducing apoptosis in an ROS-dependent manner.