Background: Pereskia sacharosa is a genus of cacti widely used in folk medicine for cancer-related treatment.Anti-proliferative effects have been studied in recent years against colon, breast, cervical and lung cancer celllines, with promising results. We here extended study of anti-proliferative effects to a blood malignancy, leukemia.Materials and
Methods: Two leukemic cell lines, MV4-11 (acute myeloid leukemia) and K562 (chronic myeloidleukemia), were studied. IC50 concentrations were determined and apoptosis and cell cycle regulation werestudied by flow cytometric analysis. The expression of apoptosis and cell-cycle related regulatory proteins wasassessed by Western blotting.
Results: P sacharosa inhibited growth of MV4-11 and K562 cells in a dose-dependentmanner. The mode of cell death was via induction of intrinsic apoptotic pathways and cell cycle arrest. Therewas profound up-regulation of cytochrome c, caspases, p21 and p53 expression and repression of Akt and Bcl-2expression in treated cells.
Conclusions: These results suggest that P sacharosa induces leukemic cell death viaapoptosis induction and changes in cell cycle checkpoint, thus deserves further study for anti-leukemic potential.