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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 614356, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/614356
Research Article

Differential Control of Growth, Apoptotic Activity, and Gene Expression in Human Breast Cancer Cells by Extracts Derived from Medicinal Herbs Zingiber officinale

1Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, P. O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
3Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

Received 5 March 2012; Revised 1 July 2012; Accepted 2 July 2012

Academic Editor: Anne Hamburger

Copyright © 2012 Ayman I. Elkady 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.

Abstract

The present study aimed to examine the antiproliferative potentiality of an extract derived from the medicinal plant ginger (Zingiber officinale) on growth of breast cancer cells. Ginger treatment suppressed the proliferation and colony formation in breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. Meanwhile, it did not significantly affect viability of nontumorigenic normal mammary epithelial cell line (MCF-10A). Treatment of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 with ginger resulted in sequences of events marked by apoptosis, accompanied by loss of cell viability, chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, activation of caspase 3, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase. At the molecular level, the apoptotic cell death mediated by ginger could be attributed in part to upregulation of Bax and downregulation of Bcl-2 proteins. Ginger treatment downregulated expression of prosurvival genes, such as NF-κB, Bcl-X, Mcl-1, and Survivin, and cell cycle-regulating proteins, including cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinase-4 (CDK-4). On the other hand, it increased expression of CDK inhibitor, p21. It also inhibited the expression of the two prominent molecular targets of cancer, c-Myc and the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT). These findings suggested that the ginger may be a promising candidate for the treatment of breast carcinomas.