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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 609581, 13 pages
Research Article

Phyllanthus Suppresses Prostate Cancer Cell, PC-3, Proliferation and Induces Apoptosis through Multiple Signalling Pathways (MAPKs, PI3K/Akt, NF B, and Hypoxia)

1Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Biotechnology Centre, Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), 43400 Serdang, Malaysia
3Department of Trauma and Emergency Medicine, University Malaya Medical Centre, 46150 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 30 January 2013; Revised 25 March 2013; Accepted 25 March 2013

Academic Editor: Vincenzo De Feo

Copyright © 2013 Yin-Quan Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Phyllanthus is a traditional medicinal plant that has been found to have antihepatitis, antibacterial, and anticancer properties. The present studies were to investigate the in vitro molecular mechanisms of anticancer effects of Phyllanthus (P. amarus, P. niruri, P. urinaria, and P. watsonii) plant extracts in human prostate adenocarcinoma. The cancer ten-pathway reporter array was performed and revealed that the expression of six pathway reporters were significantly decreased (Wnt, NF B, Myc/Max, hypoxia, MAPK/ERK, and MAPK/JNK) in PC-3 cells after treatment with Phyllanthus extracts. Western blot was conducted and identified several signalling molecules that were affected in the signalling pathways including pan-Ras, c-Raf, RSK, Elk1, c-Jun, JNK1/2, p38 MAPK, c-myc, DSH, -catenin, Akt, HIF-1 , GSK3 , NF B p50 and p52, Bcl-2, Bax, and VEGF, in treated PC-3 cells. A proteomics-based approach, 2D gel electrophoresis, was performed, and mass spectrometry (MS/MS) results revealed that there were 72 differentially expressed proteins identified in treated PC-3 cells and were involved in tumour cell adhesion, apoptosis, glycogenesis and glycolysis, metastasis, angiogenesis, and protein synthesis and energy metabolism. Overall, these findings suggest that Phyllanthus can interfere with multiple signalling cascades involved in tumorigenesis and be used as a potential therapeutic candidate for treatment of cancer.