1School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Malaysia.
2Department of Haematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Malaysia.
3School of Diagnostic and Biomedicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sultan Zainal Abidin, 21300 Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.
4Department of Haematology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, MALAYSIA.
Background: Imatinib mesylate, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor specifically targeting the BCR/ABL fusion protein, induces hematological remission in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). However, the majority of CML patients treated with imatinib develop resistance with prolonged therapy. Dendrophthoe pentandra (L.) Miq. is a Malaysian mistletoe species that has been used as a traditional treatment for several ailments such as smallpox, ulcers, and cancers. Methods: We developed a resistant cell line (designated as K562R) by long-term co-culture of a BCR/ ABL positive CML cell line, K562, with imatinib mesylate. We then investigated the anti-proliferative effects of D. pentandra methanol extract on parental K562 and resistant K562R cells. Trypan blue exclusion assays were performed to determine the IC50 concentration; apoptosis and cell cycle analysis were conducted by flow cytometry. Results: D. pentandra extract had greater anti-proliferative effects towards K562R (IC50= 192 μg/mL) compared to K562 (500 μg/ mL) cells. Upon treatment with D. pentandra extract at the IC50. concentration: K562 but not K562R demonstrated increase in apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. Conclusion: D. pentandra methanol extract exerts potent anti-proliferative effect on BCR/ABL positive K562 cells.