Bioactivity Guided Fractionation and Elucidation of Anti-Cancer Properties of Imperata Cylindrica Leaf Extracts

Document Type : Research Articles


1 1Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Life and Allied Health Sciences, Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences, University House, Gnanagangothri Campus, New BEL Road, MSR Nagar, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

2 Strand Lifescience Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

3 Department of Human Genetics, NIMHANS, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.


Background: In our earlier study, we reported the anticancer effect of methanolic extracts of, I. cylindrica leaf (ICL) against human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell lines SCC-9. The cytotoxic effect of ICL methanolic extract was specific to the cancer cells and not to the normal cells. The present study aimed to fractionate the ICL methanolic extract to derive anticancer bioactives. Methods: The ICL methanolic extract was subjected to a bioactivity guided fractionation. Cytotoxic, cell cycle inhibitory, apoptosis and caspase gene expression inducing activity of the active fractions were evaluated using MTT assay, FACS analysis, Annexin V binding assay and RT-PCR respectively. Results: The hexane fraction of ICL methanolic extract (ICLH) was observed to be the most bioactive fraction. It was shown to possess effective cytotoxic and cell cycle inhibitory activities against SCC-9 cells. The hexane fraction also induced apoptosis in SCC-9 cells which was further established at the level of caspase 3 and 8 gene expressions. Conclusion: Overall, the results clearly establish the potential of ICLH extract to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in the SCC-9 cells. Further analysis of the ICLH fraction could result in development of effective anticancer therapeutics. The natural abundance of I. cylindrica with its wide geographic distribution could make it a preferred natural resource for obtaining novel, cost-effective, anticancer therapeutics with minimal systemic side effects.


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