Momordica cochinchinensis Aril Extract Induced Apoptosis in Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells


Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng (MC) has been used in traditional medicine due to its high carotenoidcontent. The objective of this study was to investigate mechanisms underlying apoptotic effects of MC on humanMCF-7 breast cancer cells. A lycopene-enriched aril extract of MC (AE) showed cytotoxicity and antiestrogenicityto MCF-7 cells. On DAPI staining, AE induced cell shrinkage and chromatin condensation were evident. Withflow cytometric analysis, AE increased the percentage of cells in an early apoptosis stage when compared withthe control group. RT-PCR analysis showed AE to significantly increase the expression of the proapoptotic baxgene without effect on expression of the anti-apoptotic bcl-2 gene. Moreover, AE enhanced caspase 6, 8 and 9activity. Taken together, we conclude that AE of MC fruit has anticancer effects on human MCF-7 breast cancercells by induction of cell apoptosis via both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways of signaling