METHOD: The extracts were prepared using Soxhlet apparatus for ethanol and hexane extracts while the water extracts were freeze-dried. In vitro cytotoxic activities of B. frutescens extracts of various concentrations (20 to 160 μg/mL) at 24, 48, and 72 hours time points were studied using MTT in chemically induced hypoxic condition and in 3-dimensional in vitro cell culture system. An initial characterisation of B. frutescens extracts was carried out using Fourier-transform Infrared- Attenuated Total Reflection (FTIR-ATR) to determine the presence of functional groups.
RESULTS: All leaf extracts except for water showed IC50 values ranging from 23 -158 μg/mL. Hexane extract showed the lowest IC50 value (23 μg/mL), indicating its potent cytotoxic activity. Among the branch extracts, only the 70% ethanolic extract (B70) showed an IC50 value. The hexane leaf extract tested on 3- dimensional cultured cells showed an IC50 value of 17.2 μg/mL. The FTIR-ATR spectroscopy analysis identified various characteristic peak values with different functional groups such as alcohol, alkenes, alkynes, carbonyl, aromatic rings, ethers, ester, and carboxylic acids. Interestingly, the FTIR-ATR spectra report a complex and unique profile of the hexane extract, which warrants further investigation.
CONCLUSION: Adaptation of tumour cells to hypoxia significantly contributes to the aggressiveness and chemoresistance of different tumours. The identification of B. frutescens and its possible role in eliminating breast cancer cells in hypoxic conditions defines a new role of natural product that can be utilised as an effective agent that regulates metabolic reprogramming in breast cancer.