Research Papers:

Polyphenol-rich Avicennia marina leaf extracts induce apoptosis in human breast and liver cancer cells and in a nude mouse xenograft model

Cheng Huang, Chung-Kuang Lu, Ming-Chin Tu, Jia-Hua Chang, Yen-Ju Chen, Yu-Hsuan Tu and Hsiu-Chen Huang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:35874-35893. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8624

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Cheng Huang1,*, Chung-Kuang Lu1,2,*, Ming-Chin Tu3, Jia-Hua Chang3, Yen-Ju Chen3, Yu-Hsuan Tu3, Hsiu-Chen Huang3

1National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taipei 11221, Taiwan

2Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Genome Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei 11221, Taiwan

3Department of Applied Science, National Hsinchu University of Education, Hsinchu 30014, Taiwan

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Hsiu-Chen Huang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Avicennia marina, xenografts, MDA-MB-231, HepG2, AU565

Received: September 01, 2015     Accepted: March 26, 2016     Published: April 07, 2016


Avicennia marina is the most abundant and common mangrove species and has been used as a traditional medicine for skin diseases, rheumatism, ulcers, and smallpox. However, its anticancer activities and polyphenol contents remain poorly characterized. Thus, here we investigated anticancer activities of secondary A. marina metabolites that were purified by sequential soxhlet extraction in water, ethanol, methanol, and ethyl acetate (EtOAc). Experiments were performed in three human breast cancer cell lines (AU565, MDA-MB-231, and BT483), two human liver cancer cell lines (HepG2 and Huh7), and one normal cell line (NIH3T3). The chemotherapeutic potential of A. marina extracts was evaluated in a xenograft mouse model. The present data show that EtOAc extracts of A. marina leaves have the highest phenolic and flavonoid contents and anticancer activities and, following column chromatography, the EtOAc fractions F2-5, F3-2-9, and F3-2-10 showed higher cytotoxic effects than the other fractions. 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR profiles indicated that the F3-2-10 fraction contained avicennones D and E. EtOAc extracts of A. marina leaves also suppressed xenograft MDA-MB-231 tumor growth in nude mice, suggesting that EtOAc extracts of A. marina leaves may provide a useful treatment for breast cancer.

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