Faculty Articles

Apoptosis Induction by Ocimum sanctum Extract in LNCaP Prostate Cancer Cells.

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Journal of medicinal food





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Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn), commonly known as "holy basil," has been used for the treatment of a wide range of ailments in many parts of the world. This study focuses on apoptosis-inducing ability of tulsi extract on prostate cancer cells. For this purpose LNCaP prostate cancer cells were treated with different concentrations of 70% ethanolic extract of tulsi (EET) and then the cytotoxicity was determined after 24 and 48 h. After treatment with EET externalization of phosphatidyl serine (PS) from the inner membrane to outer leaflet of the plasma membrane was clearly evidenced by the results obtained from both flow cytometry analysis with Annexin V-FITC and pSIVA-IANBD binding fluorescence microscopy assay. Depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential was also evidenced by the presence of 5,5',6,6'-tetrachlolo-1,1',3,3'-tetraethyl benzimedazolyl carbocyanine iodide (JC-1) monomeric form in the EET-treated cells that emitted the green fluorescence when compared with the control cells that emitted the red fluorescence due to aggregation of JC-1. Furthermore, the level of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage and Bcl-2 were determined using western blot analysis. When compared to the control cells the level of cleaved PARP was found to be higher with a concomitant decrease in the Bcl-2 level after 24 h of treatment of cells with EET. In addition, treatment with EET significantly elevated the activities of caspase-9 and caspase-3 in LNCaP cells compared with the control. Also, after 48 h of treatment all doses used in this study showed clear fragments of DNA, which is one of the hallmarks of apoptosis. Taken together, our findings suggest that, EET can effectively induce apoptosis in LNCaP cells via activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 that can eventually lead to DNA fragmentation and cell death.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic, Apoptosis, Caspase 3, Caspase 9, Cell Line, Tumor, DNA Fragmentation, Humans, Male, Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial, Ocimum, Plant Extracts, Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases, Prostatic Neoplasms, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2

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