Proven the great potential of essential oils as anticancer agents, the current study intended to explore molecular mechanisms responsible for in vitro and in vivo anti-colon cancer efficacy of essential oil containing oleo-gum resin extract (RH) of Mesua ferrea. MTT cell viability studies showed that RH had broad spectrum cytotoxic activities. However, it induced more profound growth inhibitory effects towards two human colon cancer cell lines i.e., HCT 116 and LIM1215 with an IC50 values of 17.38 ± 0.92 and 18.86 ± 0.80 μg/mL respectively. RH induced relatively less toxicity in normal human colon fibroblasts i.e., CCD-18co. Cell death studies conducted, revealed that RH induced characteristic morphological and biochemical changes in HCT 116. At protein level it down-regulated expression of multiple pro-survival proteins i.e., survivin, xIAP, HSP27, HSP60 and HSP70 and up-regulated expression of ROS, caspase-3/7 and TRAIL-R2 in HCT 116. Furthermore, significant reduction in invasion, migration and colony formation potential was observed in HCT 116 treated with RH. Chemical characterization by GC-MS and HPLC methods revealed isoledene and elemene as one the major compounds. RH showed potent antitumor activity in xenograft model. Overall, these findings suggest that RH holds a promise to be further studied for cheap anti-colon cancer naturaceutical development.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.