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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 1294-1301

Citrullus colocynthis regulates de novo lipid biosynthesis in human breast cancer cells

1 School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
2 School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab; Department of Biotechnology, Virtual University of Pakistan, Lahore, Pakistan
3 Institute of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Asima Tayyeb
School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_206_20

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Background: Reprogrammed energy metabolism is considered a hallmark of cancer and is proposed as an important target for therapy. Uncontrolled and infinite cell proliferation needs efficient energy sources. To meet the demands of cancer cells lipid metabolism is activated. Citrullus colocynthis is a traditional medicinal plant known for its anticancer and hypolipidemic effects. Aims: Aim of the current study was to assess the effect of C. colocynthis leaves on regulation of lipid metabolism in MCF-7, a human breast cancer cell line. Methods: Methanolic extract of leaves and its fractions in increasing polarity-based solvents (n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate and n-butanol) were prepared and analyzed for the presence of secondary metabolites in each fraction. Bioassays and apoptosis genes expression analysis was conducted to evaluate the anticancer and cytotoxic effect of breast cancer cells treated with extract and its fractions, separately. Lipid quantification and gene expression regulation of genes involve in lipid metabolism was performed to evaluate regulation of lipid metabolism. Results: Results showed a significant anticancer activity of methanolic extract of C. colocynthis and two of its fractions prepared with chloroform and ethyl acetate. Quantification of lipids depicted significant increase in cholesterol and increase in triglycerides of treated cells compared to control untreated cells. Expression regulation of genes further confirmed the lipid regulation through significant down regulation of genes involve in lipid metabolism (FASN, HMGCLL1, ACSL5 and ELOVL2). Conclusion: The present study concludes that C. colocynthis holds strong anticancer potential through regulation of lipid metabolism and with further studies can be proposed for novel therapeutic approaches.

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