In Iraq, just like other eastern countries, local folklore medicinal plants represent an unlimited resource popularly known to treat wide spectrum of diseases, including cancer. Traditionally these plants are used without having any fundamental understanding for their biological action; the tubers of Cyperus rotundus herb are one of such resources. This study evaluates and estimates the nature of the anticancer properties of total oligomeric flavonoids (TOF) extracted from Cyperus rotundus tubers and its main effector mechanism against four different cell lines. The cell lines invested for this purpose were human glioblastoma cells (AMGM), mice mammary adenocarcenoma cells (AMN3), rat embryo fibroblast cells (REF) and African green monkey kidney cells (Vero).

Total oligomeric flavonoids (TOF) were extracted from the dry rhizomes of locally harvested Cyprus rotundus herb. The treated cells were cultured in the presence of TOF extracts at different concentrations extended from 50 µg/ml to 500 µg/ml with 50 µg/ml increment each time for 24 hr. Cells viability was determined by MTT assay and calculated as a percentage of control untreated cells. Apoptosis induction in the TOF treated cells was detected using cell membrane integration assay in adherent cells, DNA fragmentation assay, acridine orange/propidium iodide staining in adherent cells, and disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential.

The prepared TOF extract was a yellowish crystalline powder that can be totally dissolved in distilled water without any remission. The extract inhibited both AMGM and AMN3 cancer cells proliferation by 67.09% and 52.41% at concentration of 350 µg/ml (IC50) during incubation time of 24 hr. Both REF and Vero cell lines were totally resistant to TOF at 500 and even for 1000 µg/ml which are the highest concentrations tested. Cell membrane integrity was destructed in AMGM, AMN3, REF, and Vero cell lines by 54.50%, 53.67%, 3.5%, and 11.5%, respectively after 24 hr of TOF treatment at IC50. Both AMGM and AMN3 cells possessed a smear of DNA fragmentation extended from 3000 to 400. REF cells did not show any fragments of their DNA with MW lower than 10,000. Cells and nucleus morphological changes for apoptosis were clearly evident in both AMGM and AMN3 cancer cells when treated with IC50 for 24 hr as assessed using acridine orange and propidium iodide staining. The distraction of mitochondrial membrane potential for AMGM and AMN3 cells treated with IC50 of TOF for 24 hr indicated that 65.33% and 75.76% of the cells were apoptotic cells respectively. The treatment with 1000 µg/ml increased the apoptotic cells to 89.5% and 79.89% respectively. These results indicate that TOF of Cyperus rotundus have apparent antiproliferative activity against the tested cancer cells due to the induction of apoptosis and can be claimed to have a therapeutic potential for cancer.

Citation Information: Mol Cancer Ther 2013;12(11 Suppl):A176.

Citation Format: Amer T. Al-Saeedi. Total oligomeric flavonoids (TOF) of the herb tubers Cyperus rotundus induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in some cancer cell lines, a preliminary study. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference: Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics; 2013 Oct 19-23; Boston, MA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Mol Cancer Ther 2013;12(11 Suppl):Abstract nr A176.