In-vitro assessment of the antiproliferative and apoptotic potential of the ethyl acetate extract of Peltophorum africanum on different cancer cell lines

Document Type : Research article


1 Microbial Pathogenicity and Molecular Epidemiology Research Group, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Fort Hare, P/Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa.

2 University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, Eastern Cape Province


We evaluated the in vitro antiproliferative and apoptotic potential of the ethyl acetate extract (EAE) of Peltophorum africanum, a member of the family Fabaceae (Sond) in order to validate its pharmacological use. Antiproliferation of human breast (MCF-7), colon (HT-29) and cervical (HeLa) cancer cell lines by EAE was investigated using the Cell Titer-Blue viability assay and the mechanism of action delineated using the Nucleic Acid and Protein Purification Nucleospin® Tissue Kit, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), propidium iodide (PI) and acridine orange (AO) double-staining techniques. Significant reduction in cell viability of the cells was noted as the MCF-7 cells were reduced from 100 - 54.33±1.84 % after 72 hrs of treatment with 5 µg/mL of EAE (P. value < 0.05). Internucleosomal DNA of MCF-7, HT-29 and HeLa cells were randomly fragmented into an uninterrupted spectrum of sizes, complemented by the intercalation of nucleic acid-specific fluorochromes by PI and AO spotting two phases of apoptosis; early (EA) and late (LA) apoptosis. Distinctive ultramorphological changes observed include; cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, and typical cell induced death. The ethyl acetate extract of P. africanum has the potential to induce apoptosis and could be further studied in vivo as a likely template for new anticancer therapy.


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