Anticancer Activity of Combretum fragrans F. Hoffm on Glioblastoma and Prostate Cancer Cell Lines

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

2 UFR Sciences Fondamentales et Appliquées, Team “Récepteurs, Régulations, Cellules Tumorales” (2RCT)-EA 3842 CAPTuR, Pôle Biologie Santé-Bât. B36/B37, University of Poitiers, 1 rue Georges Bonnet-TSA, France.

3 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Ngaoundere, Ngaoundéré, Cameroon.

4 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Ngaoundere, Ngaoundéré, Cameroon.

5 Department of Physiological Sciences and Biochemistry, FMBS, University of Ngaoundere, Garoua, Cameroon.


Background: Cancer incidence has been growing in an alarming rate worldwide and new therapeutics are needed, particularly for intractable and chemoresistant cases. We evaluated the cytotoxic effects of Combretum fragrans F. Hoffm (Combretaceae) on glioblastoma (U87MG and C6) and prostate (PC-3) cancer cell lines. Methods: The cytotoxic effect of the methanolic extract of the stem bark of Combretum fragrans was assessed using XTT (2,3-bis (2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-5-[(phenylamino) carbonyl]-2H-tetrazolium hydroxide) test. Expressions of Akt and ERK1/2 were determined using Western blot technique, while Caspase-3/7 kits were used to evaluate caspase-3/7 activity. Results: C. fragrans extract inhibited the proliferation of U87 (IC50 = 20.13 µg/mL), C6 (IC50 = 12.17 µg/mL), and PC-3 (IC50 = 11.50 µg/mL) cells. Treatment with the extract resulted in lower levels (p < 0.001) of phospho-ERK1/2 and phospho-Akt in U87 cells, and instead, higher levels of phospho-ERK1/2 (p < 0.001) in C6 and PC-3 cells. An increase in caspase-3/7 activity was observed, mainly after 24 hours of treatment, indicating the activation of apoptotic processes. Conclusion: Altogether, these results suggest that C. fragrans have potent anticancer properties. This plant should be further investigated for developing new anticancer drugs.


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