Differential cytotoxic potential of acridocarpus orientalis leaf and stem extracts with the ability to induce multiple cell death pathways

Sameera Omar Mohammed Saeed Balhamar, Neena Gopinathan Panicker, Shaima Akhlaq, Mohammed Mansoor Qureshi, Waqar Ahmad, Najeeb Ur Rehman, Liaqat Ali, Ahmed Al-Harrasi, Javid Hussain, Farah Mustafa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study systematically analyzed the anticancer potential of Acridocarpus orientalis (AO), a traditional medicinal plant of the Arabian Peninsula/East Africa known for its anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties. Tests of serial organic fractions from methanolic extracts of its leaves and stems revealed that only some fractions showed anti-proliferative potential with the dichloromethane fraction from leaves (AOD (L)) showing the most cytotoxic effect against both breast (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) and cervical (HeLa) cancer cell lines. The n-butanol fraction from the stems (AOB (S)), on the other hand, was more effective against cervical cancer cells and did not harm the normal cells. Further characterization of the mode of cell killing revealed that AOD (L) depended more on non-apoptotic pathways for its cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells, while it could activate some apoptosis and necroptosis in HeLa cells. The AOB (S) fraction could primarily activate apoptosis and some necroptosis in HeLa cells. Both fractions perturbed autophagy, but in a dissimilar manner. Thus, different parts of A. orientalis revealed variable potential to induce cell death in cancer cells via apoptotic and non-apoptotic pathways, making A. orientalis a valuable plant for the exploration of anticancer bioactive reagents, some of which may be protective for normal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3976
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Acridocarpus orientalis
  • Anticancer
  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Molecular mechanism
  • Necroptosis
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Phytochemicals
  • Phytotherapy
  • Traditional herbal medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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