Anticancer Activity of Moringa peregrina (Forssk.) Fiori. A Native Plant in Traditional Herbal Medicine of the United Arab Emirates

Salama Khamis Sultan Al Kaabi, Annadurai Senthilkumar, Jaleel Kizhakkayil, Mohammed Abdul Muhsen Alyafei, Shyam Sreedhara Kurup, Ayesha S.Al Dhaheri, Abdul Jaleel

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Moringa peregrina (Forssk.) Fiori. is a native desert tree growing in United Arab Emirates (UAE). The plant is being cultivated in many parts of UAE, owing to its uses in traditional medicinal and food systems. In the present study bioactivities of cultivated M. peregrina species samples are evaluated with cytotoxic studies in the human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) and human colon adenocarcinoma cell line (Caco-2). Different extracts with hexane, chloroform, acetone and methanol were prepared from tubers, leaves and stem of M. peregrina for estimating their antioxidant contents and anticancer activities. The study was performed at different concentrations and all the extracts showed dose-depended response on both the cell lines. Among the extracts tested, the chloroform extract of stem showed remarkable anti-proliferative/cell death activity (IC50 = 45.53 µg/mL of 48 h incubation and 33.32 µg/mL of 72 h incubation) on MCF-7 cell lines. Whereas the same extract showed comparatively less activity (IC50 = 93.75 µg/mL of 48 h incubation and 87.76 µg/mL of 72 h incubation) on Caco-2 cell lines. The anti-proliferative effect of leaf extract with chloroform showed a drastic change in cell viability from 48 to 72 h incubation, in MCF-7 cells 220 to 87.5 µg/mL and in Caco-2 cells 500.9 to 72.9 µg/mL, respectively. Moreover, less than 200 µg/mL of IC50 values reported in hexane extracts of tubers (188.6 µg/mL for 48 h and 164.3 µg/mL for 72 h), acetone extracts of tubers (167.4 µg/mL for 72 h) and acetone extracts of stem (171.5 µg/mL for 48 h and 101.7 µg/mL for 72 h) on MCF-7 cells. PARP (Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase) cleavage assay and DNA fragmentation assay performed to understand the cause of cell death. Treatment of extract on the normal fibroblast cell line required more concentration for cytotoxicity compared to the treatment on the cancer cells. This ability of the extract proved the anti-cancer property of the M. peregrina extract from the stem, tuber and leaves. The information provided in the present study enables further studies on the isolation and characterization of an anticancer molecule from the tubers of M. peregrina.

Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer management
  • Colon cancer
  • Moringa peregrina
  • Natural products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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