Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3693

Full Length Research Paper

Effect of Ephedra foeminea active compounds on cell viability and actin structures in cancer cell lines

Maayan Mendelovich
  • Maayan Mendelovich
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Monick Shoshan
  • Monick Shoshan
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Marcelo Fridlender
  • Marcelo Fridlender
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Moran Mazuz
  • Moran Mazuz
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Dvora Namder
  • Dvora Namder
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Rameshprabu Nallathambi
  • Rameshprabu Nallathambi
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Gopinath Selvaraj
  • Gopinath Selvaraj
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Puja Kumari
  • Puja Kumari
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Aurel Ion
  • Aurel Ion
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Smadar Wininger
  • Smadar Wininger
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Ahmad Nasser
  • Ahmad Nasser
  • The Interinstitutional Analytical Instrumentation Unit (IU), Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Mohamed Samara
  • Mohamed Samara
  • The Interinstitutional Analytical Instrumentation Unit (IU), Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Yaacov Sharvit
  • Yaacov Sharvit
  • Institute for Apitherapy, Department of Medicinal Plants and Natural Compounds, Tu Beav 181, Shiloh, 4483000, Israel.
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Yoram Kapulnik
  • Yoram Kapulnik
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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Native Dudai
  • Native Dudai
  • The Unit of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants, Newe Yaar Research Center, ARO, Ramat Yishai 30095, Israel.
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Hinanit Koltai
  • Hinanit Koltai
  • Institute of Plant Sciences, Agriculture Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon LeZion 75822, Israel.
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  •  Received: 19 August 2017
  •  Accepted: 24 October 2017
  •  Published: 17 November 2017

Abstract

Ephedra is likely one of the oldest medicinal plants still currently in use. In folk medicine, extracts of Ephedra foeminea are commonly used to treat cancer patients. In relation to its traditional use, the aim of the present study was to determine the cytotoxic activity in vitro of E. foeminea extracts on cancer and non-cancer cells. Cell viability was determined using XTT assay, induction of apoptosis by cell sorting and caspase-3 inhibition, and the effects on cell cytoskeleton structure were detected using cell transfection utilizing different cytoskeleton markers. Chemical profiling, analysis of active extracts and identification of compounds was done using high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GCMS). E. foeminea leaf ethanol extract and E. foeminea fruit juice reduced cancer cell viability in vitro, whereas the water extract reduced cytotoxic activity in all cell lines. The extract's cytotoxic activity was conveyed at least partially via the induction of caspase 3-dependent cell apoptosis, and enhanced by the addition of Taxol. Both E. foeminea ethanol leaf extract and fruit juice affected actin-stained but not tubulin-stained filaments. Ethanol extract promoted the formation of invadopodia-like structures and fruit juice promoted the formation of large focal adhesion points in the treated cells. Active sub-fractions of E. foeminea extracts were found to contain several compounds including trans-sinapyl alcohol and trans-sinapaldehyde derivative.

 

Key words: Ephedra foeminea, plant extract, cancer cells, actin, invadopodia, apoptosis.

Abbreviation

Z-VAD-FMK, N-Benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp (OMe)-fluoromethylketone; MMP9, matrix metallopeptidase 9; DDW, double distilled water; EtOH, ethanol; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase.