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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 689865, 12 pages
Research Article

Apoptosis Effect of Girinimbine Isolated from Murraya koenigii on Lung Cancer Cells In Vitro

1Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Medical Research Centre, Jazan University, P.O. Box 114, 45 142 Jazan, Saudi Arabia
3Centre for Natural Products and Drug Discovery (CENAR), Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UCSI University, No. 1, Jalan Menara Gading, UCSI Heights, Cheras, 56000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
5Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia
6UPM-MAKNA Cancer Research Laboratory, Institute of Bioscience, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Malaysia

Received 7 November 2012; Revised 20 January 2013; Accepted 6 February 2013

Academic Editor: Weena Jiratchariyakul

Copyright © 2013 Syam Mohan 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.


Murraya koenigii Spreng has been traditionally claimed as a remedy for cancer. The current study investigated the anticancer effects of girinimbine, a carbazole alkaloid isolated from Murraya koenigii Spreng, on A549 lung cancer cells in relation to apoptotic mechanistic pathway. Girinimbine was isolated from Murraya koenigii Spreng. The antiproliferative activity was assayed using MTT and the apoptosis detection was done by annexin V and lysosomal stability assays. Multiparameter cytotoxicity assays were performed to investigate the change in mitochondrial membrane potential and cytochrome c translocation. ROS, caspase, and human apoptosis proteome profiler assays were done to investigate the apoptotic mechanism of cell death. The MTT assay revealed that the girinimbine induces cell death with an IC50 of 19.01 μM. A significant induction of early phase of apoptosis was shown by annexin V and lysosomal stability assays. After 24 h treatment with 19.01 μM of girinimbine, decrease in the nuclear area and increase in mitochondrial membrane potential and plasma membrane permeability were readily visible. Moreover the translocation of cytochrome c also was observed. Girinimbine mediates its antiproliferative and apoptotic effects through up- and downregulation of apoptotic and antiapoptotic proteins. There was a significant involvement of both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. Moreover, the upregulation of p53 as well as the cell proliferation repressor proteins, p27 and p21, and the significant role of insulin/IGF-1 signaling were also identified. Moreover the caspases 3 and 8 were found to be significantly activated. Our results taken together indicated that girinimbine may be a potential agent for anticancer drug development.