In vitro pro apoptotic effect of crude saponin from Ophiocoma erinaceus against cervical cancer

Document Type: Research article


1 Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Research Center for Applied Biology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

4 Department of Animal Biology, School of Basic Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Biotechnology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Ophiocoma erinaceus Muller &Troschel (Ophiocomidae) is part of the extensive group of echinoderm that contains bioactive metabolites. As, the anti cancer potential of brittle star saponin has not been reported against cervical cancer, the present study was conducted to evaluate the anticancer effect of extracted crude saponin. Saponin extraction was conducted using conventional method such as froth test, TLC, FTIR and erythrolysis assay. The Hela-S3 cervical carcinoma and HNCF-PI52 normal cells were treated with different concentrations of saponin fraction for 24 and 48 h. The cytotoxicity was examined by MTT, DAPI, AO/PI, Annexin V-FITC and flow cytometry. In addition, the apoptotic induced pathway was studied using caspase assay, evaluation of ROS generation and Bcl-2 mRNA level. Crude saponin showed cytotoxic properties in Hela-S3 cells (IC50of 23.4 µg/ml) without significant impact against normal cells. In addition, the crude saponin increased sub-G1 peak in flow cytometry histogram of treated cells, ROS generation and caspase-3 and -9 activity (IC50 of 11.10, 11.27 µg/ml). The dose dependent down regulation of Bcl-2 in treated cells demonstrated that saponin fraction can trigger intrinsic apoptotic pathway in cancer cells. This study provides valuable information about the apoptotic inducing effect of saponin fraction which can offer new insights into the anticancer potential of saponin as a promising candidate against human cervical carcinoma.


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