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Anticancer Activity of Ocimum basilicum and the Effect of Ursolic Acid on the Cytoskeleton of MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells

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The anticancer activity of Ocimum basilicum extract and its fractions was evaluated using human cancer cell lines; active compound(s) residing in it were identified and mechanism of their anti-proliferative action was explored. Methanolic extract was fractionated into petroleum ether soluble (PE-S) and insoluble (PE-I) fractions. These were evaluated on HT-144, MCF-7, NCI-H460 and SF-268 cell lines using Sulforhodamine B assay. Immunofluorescence microscopy was employed to study their effects on the cytoskeleton and nuclei of MCF-7 cells. Fractionation of PE-I (GI50: 5 μg/ml; LC50: 71μg/ml against MCF-7) led to the isolation of four compounds, mainly ursolic acid (LC50: 18.6 μg/ml). Ursolic acid (100 μM) induced a significant decrease in the percentage of cells in anaphase/telophase stages along with F-actin aggregation and mitotic spindle distortion. These results support anti-proliferative activity of O. basilicum extract against MCF-7 cells which may partly be due to effects of ursolic acid on F-actin and microtubules.

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Keywords: 3-Epi-ursolic acid; 3-O-Methyl ursolic acid; ANOVA; Anticancer; Anvirzel; Betula alba; Camptothecin acuminate; Cytoskeleton; DAPI; DMSO; EtOAc; FITC channel; HPLC; HT-144; Immunofluorescence Microscopy; Jasplakinolide; MCF-7; MCF-7 cell line; MeOH; Mitotic Index Assay; NCI-H460; Nerium oleander; Ocimum basilicum; Oleanolic acid; PE-I; PE-S; Paclitaxel; Podophyllum pel-tatum; RPMI-1640; SF-268; SRB; Ursolic acid; XTT assay; paclitaxel; petroleum ether soluble; photodiode array (PDA) detector; sulforhodamine B; trichloroacetic acid; trypan blue, tryp-sin-EDTA; vinblastine

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • Letters in Drug Design & Discovery publishes original letters on all areas of rational drug design and discovery including medicinal chemistry, in-silico drug design, combinatorial chemistry, high-throughput screening, drug targets, and structure-activity relationships. The emphasis will be on publishing quality papers very rapidly. Letters will be processed rapidly by taking full advantage of Internet technology for both the submission and review of manuscripts. The journal is essential reading to all pharmaceutical scientists involved in research in drug design and discovery.
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