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Medicinal plant-based therapies can be important for treatment of cancer owing to high efficiency, low cost and minimal side effects. Here, we report the anti-cancer efficacy of Ricinus communis L. fruit extract (RCFE) using estrogen positive MCF-7 and highly aggressive, triple negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. RCFE induced cytotoxicity in these cells in dose and time-dependent manner. It also demonstrated robust anti-metastatic activity as it significantly inhibited migration, adhesion, invasion and expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) 2 and 9 in both cell lines. Further, flow cytometry analysis suggested RCFE-mediated induction of apoptosis in these cells. This was supported by attenuation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, induction of pro-apoptotic Bax and caspase-7 expressions as well as PARP cleavage upon RCFE treatment. RCFE (0.5 mg/Kg body weight) treatment led to significant reduction in tumor volume in 4T1 syngeneic mouse model. HPLC and ESI-MS analysis of active ethyl acetate fraction of RCFE detected four compounds, Ricinine, p-Coumaric acid, Epigallocatechin and Ricinoleic acid. Individually these compounds showed cytotoxic and migration-inhibitory activities. Overall, this study for the first time demonstrates the anti-cancer efficacy of the fruit extract of common castor plant which can be proposed as a potent candidate for the treatment of breast cancer.


Munmi Majumder, Shibjyoti Debnath, Rahul L Gajbhiye, Rimpi Saikia, Bhaskarjyoti Gogoi, Suman Kumar Samanta, Deepjyoti K Das, Kaushik Biswas, Parasuraman Jaisankar, Rupak Mukhopadhyay. Ricinus communis L. fruit extract inhibits migration/invasion, induces apoptosis in breast cancer cells and arrests tumor progression in vivo. Scientific reports. 2019 Oct 10;9(1):14493

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PMID: 31601896

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