Kanahia Laniflora Methanolic Extract Suppressed Proliferation of Human Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer A549 Cells

  • Alfaif, Mohammad Yahya (Biology Department, Faculty of Science, King Khalid University)
  • Published : 2016.10.01


Introduction: Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. In certain countries such as United States of America, it is the leading cause of related cancer mortality among both men and women. Natural products play an important role in overcoming the limitations of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Objectives: In this study, we investigated the antiproliferative and apoptotic activities of Kanahia laniflora methanolic extract against human non-small cell lung cancer cells (A549). Methods: Sulforhodamine B colorimetric assays were used to determine the inhibitory effects of a leaf methanolic extract against A549 cells. Results: The extract showed strong cytotoxic activity against A549 cells with an $IC_{50}$ value of $0.13{\mu}g/ml$ compared to $0.21{\mu}g/ml$ for doxorubicin. The extract also significantly increased the percentage of apoptotic cells to 49.7% as compared to 1.4% and 47.4% for control and doxorubicin respectively. Conclusion: These results showed, for the first time, that a methanolic extract of Kanahia laniflora leaves can inhibit the proliferation of human non-small cell lung cancer cells (A549). Further attention to its potential as a new effective anticancer agent is warranted.


Lung cancer;A549;kanahia laniflora;apoptosis;herbal medicine


  1. Al-Musayeib NM, Mothana RA, Matheeussen A, et al (2012). In vitro antiplasmodial, antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal activities of selected medicinal plants used in the traditional Arabian Peninsular region. BMC Complement Altern Med, 12, 49.
  2. Al Wadie HM (2007). Plant communites in Wadi Ayaa southwestern Saudi Arabia. J Exp Biol, 3, 1-8.
  3. Alhazmi MI, Hasan TN, Shafi G, et al (2014). Roles of p53 and caspases in induction of apoptosis in MCF- 7 breast cancer cells treated with a methanolic extract of Nigella sativa seeds. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 15, 9655-60.
  4. Baskic D, Popovic S, Ristic P, et al (2006). Analysis of cycloheximide-induced apoptosis in human leukocytes: fluorescence microscopy using annexin V/propidium iodide versus acridin orange/ethidium bromide. Cell Biol Int, 30, 924-32.
  5. Brunelle JK, Zhang B (2010). Apoptosis assays for quantifying the bioactivity of anticancer drug products. Drug Resist Updat, 13, 172-9.
  6. Calderon-Montano JM, Burgos-Moron E, Orta ML, et al (2014). Evaluating the cancer therapeutic potential of cardiac glycosides. Biomed Res Int, 2014.
  7. Clarkson C, Mellor IR, Lambert M, et al (2006). 5alpha-cardenolides from Kanahia laniflora inhibit ionotropic acetylcholine receptors. Planta Medica, 72, 1418-20.
  8. Clarkson C, Staerk D, Hansen SH, et al (2005). Hyphenation of Solid-Phase Extraction with Liquid Chromatography and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance: Application of HPLC-DADSPE-NMR to Identification of Constituents of Kanahia laniflora. Anal Chem, 77, 3547-53.
  9. Elkady A, Hussein R, El-Assouli S (2014). Mechanism of Action of Nigella sativa on Human Colon Cancer Cells: the Suppression of AP-1 and $NF-{\kappa}B$ Transcription Factors and the Induction of Cytoprotective Genes. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 16, 7943-57.
  10. Gemechu A, Giday M, Worku A, et al (2013). In vitro Anti-mycobacterial activity of selected medicinal plants against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis Strains. BMC Complement Altern Med, 13, 291.
  11. Giday M, Teklehaymanot T, Animut A, et al (2007). Medicinal plants of the Shinasha, Agew-awi and Amhara peoples in northwest Ethiopia. J Ethnopharmacol, 110, 516-25.
  12. KAMEL EA-R, Sharawy SM, Karakish EAK (2014). Cytotaxonomical investigations of the tribes asclepiadeae and ceropegieae of the subfamily asclepiadoideae-apocynaceae. Pak J Bot, 46, 1351-61.
  13. Khan N, Afaq F, Mukhtar H (2006). Apoptosis by dietary factors: the suicide solution for delaying cancer growth. Carcinogenesis, 28, 233-9.
  14. Khazir J, Mir BA, Pilcher L, et al (2014). Role of plants in anticancer drug discovery. Phytochem Lett, 7, 173-81.
  15. Kruger A, van der Vijver L (1986). A chemical and biological evaluation of Kanahia laniflora (Asclepiadaceae). Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap, 5, 46-52.
  16. Kumar S (2013). Cardiac glycosides as anticancer agent. J Pharm Biomed Sci, 4, 1371-8.
  17. Langevin SM, Kratzke RA, Kelsey KT (2015). Epigenetics of lung cancer. Transl Res, 165, 74-90.
  18. Lee J-W, Kim W, Min B-I, et al (2015). Traditional herbal medicine as an adjuvant treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Integr Med, 7, 577-85.
  19. Lemjabbar-Alaoui H, Hassan OUI, Yang Y-W, et al (2015). Lung cancer: Biology and treatment options. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA). Nat Rev Cancer, 1856, 189-210.
  20. Lou C, Wang M, Yang G, et al (2009). Preliminary studies on anti-tumor activity of 2′,4′-dihydroxychalcone isolated from Herba Oxytropis in human gastric cancer MGC-803 cells. Toxicol In Vitro, 23, 906-10.
  21. Monteiro LdS, Bastos KX, Barbosa-Filho JM, et al (2014). Medicinal plants and other living organisms with antitumor potential against lung cancer. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2014.
  22. Mothana R, Gruenert R, Bednarski P, et al (2009). Evaluation of the in vitro anticancer, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of some Yemeni plants used in folk medicine. Pharmazie, 64, 260-8.
  23. Paydar M, Wong YL, Moharam BA, et al (2013). In vitro anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activity of methanolic extract from Sanchezia speciosa leaves. Pak J Biol Sci, 16, 1212-5.
  24. Qi F, Li A, Inagaki Y, et al (2010). Chinese herbal medicines as adjuvant treatment during chemo-or radio-therapy for cancer. Biosci Trends, 4, 297-307.
  25. Rapini A, Chase MW, Goyder DJ, et al (2003). Asclepiadeae classification: evaluating the phylogenetic relationships of New World Asclepiadoideae (Apocynaceae). Taxon, 36, 33-50.
  26. Ravinder Singh C, Kathiresan K (2014). Molecular understanding of lung cancers-A review. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed, 4, 35-41.
  27. Ravishankar D, Rajora AK, Greco F, et al (2013). Flavonoids as prospective compounds for anti-cancer therapy. Int J Biochem Cell Biol, 45, 2821-31.
  28. Ribble D, Goldstein NB, Norris DA, et al (2005). A simple technique for quantifying apoptosis in 96-well plates. BMC Biotechnol, 5, 12-20.
  29. Roleira FM, Tavares-da-Silva EJ, Varela CL, et al (2015). Plant derived and dietary phenolic antioxidants: Anticancer properties. Food Chem, 183, 235-58.
  30. Safarzadeh E, Sandoghchian Shotorbani S, Baradaran B (2014). Herbal medicine as inducers of apoptosis in cancer treatment. Adv Pharm Bull, 4, 421-7.
  31. Seifu T, Asres K, Gebre-Mariam T (2006). Ethnobotanical and ethnopharmaceutical studies on medicinal plants of Chifra District, Afar Region, Northeastern Ethiopia. Ethiopian J Pharm, 24, 41-58.
  32. Shoeb M (2006). Anticancer agents from medicinal plants. Bangladesh J Pharm, 1, 35-41.
  33. Skehan P, Storeng R, Scudiero D, et al (1990). New colorimetric cytotoxicity assay for anticancer-drug screening. J Natl Cancer Inst, 82, 1107-12.
  34. Squier MK, Cohen JJ (2001). Standard quantitative assays for apoptosis. Mol Biotechnol, 19, 305-12.
  35. Teh E, Belcher E (2014). Lung cancer: diagnosis, staging and treatment. Surgery, 32, 242-8.
  36. Vichai V, Kirtikara K (2006). Sulforhodamine B colorimetric assay for cytotoxicity screening. Nat Protoc, 1, 1112-6.
  37. Wood SL, Pernemalm M, Crosbie PA, et al (2015). Molecular histology of lung cancer: From targets to treatments. Cancer Treat Rev, 41, 361-75.