Proceedings of The Physiological Society

Europhysiology 2018 (London, UK) (2018) Proc Physiol Soc 41, PCA204

Poster Communications

Effect of bitter melon extract, kuguacin-J and cisplatin on MCF-10A, MCF-7 and MDAMB-231 breast cancer cell lines in vitro

J. Singh1, E. Cummings2, R. Singh3, C. Houacine4

1. 1. School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom. 2. School of Medicine, University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana. 3. Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana. 4. School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Preston, United Kingdom.


Momordica charantia possess anti-carcinogenic properties and it can modulate its effect via calcium overloading-induced oxidative stress resulting in cancer cell death. This study investigated the potential chemotherapeutic effect of an ethanol soluble extract of M. charantia, kuguacin-J (K-J), an isolated compound from M charantia and cisplatin, a commercial anticancer drug on MCF-10A (normal human mammary primary epithelial healthy cells), MCF-7 (human mammary primary epithelial cancer cells) and MDAMB-231 (human mammary primary epithelial -triple negative (TNBC) cancer cells) breast cancer cell lines. The different cells were treated with varying concentrations (8 µg - 800 µg/ml) of either the extract, K-J or cisplatin (all dissolved in DMSO and diluted in the incubating medium) for 48 hours. Furthermore, cisplatin was combined with either the ethanol extract or K-J to investigate any combined effects on cell death. Cell viability and caspase activity were measured using established methods. The results show that either the extract of M. charantia or K-J had no effect on MCF-10A normal cell line compared to cisplatin which killed the healthy cells, especially at high concentrations. MCF-10 cell viability was 100 %, 100 % and 3.2 % for 80 µg/ml of the extract, K-J and cisplatin, respectively, compared to untreated cells (100%). With MCF-7, either the ethanol extract or K-J killed the cells only at high concentrations (80 µg - 800 µg/ml) compared to cisplatin which killed the cells using 8 µg - 800 µg/ml either alone or when combined with the extract or K-J. Typically, the cell viability for MCF-7 was 18.5 %, 4.6 % and 5.1 % for 800 µg/ml of the extract, K-J and cisplatin, respectively compared to untreated cells (100%). In contrast, all concentrations (8 µg - 800 µg/ml) of either the extract, K-J or cisplatin either alone or when combined killed MDAMB-231 cell line almost by 100%. MDAMB-231 cell viability was 1.58 %, 1.81% and 0.74 % for 8 µg/ml of the extract, K-J and cisplatin, respectively when compared to non-treated cells (100%). Furthermore, either the extract of M. charantia, K-J or cisplatin (800 µg/ml) elicited significant (Student's t-test; p < 0.05) increases in caspase - 3 activity from MCF-7 and MDAMB-231 breast cancer cells compared to untreated cells. The results demonstrated that either the ethanol soluble extract of M charantia or K-J can be used effectively to treat breast cancer, especially MDAMB-231 breast cancer cells.

Where applicable, experiments conform with Society ethical requirements