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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 185064, 10 pages
Original Article

Cytotoxic Activities of Physalis minima L. Chloroform Extract on Human Lung Adenocarcinoma NCI-H23 Cell Lines by Induction of Apoptosis

1School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia
2Malaysian Institute of Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, SAINS 10, Persiaran Bukit Jambul, 11900 Penang, Malaysia
3Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

Received 31 December 2008; Accepted 28 May 2009

Copyright © 2011 Ooi Kheng Leong 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.


Physalis minima L. is reputed for having anticancer property. In this study, the chloroform extract of this plant exhibited remarkable cytotoxic activities on NCI-H23 (human lung adenocarcinoma) cell line at dose- and time-dependent manners (after 24, 48 and 72 h of incubation). Analysis of cell-death mechanism demonstrated that the extract exerted apoptotic programed cell death in NCI-H23 cells with typical DNA fragmentation, which is a biochemical hallmark of apoptosis. Morphological observation using transmission electron microscope (TEM) also displayed apoptotic characteristics in the treated cells, including clumping and margination of chromatins, followed by convolution of the nuclear and budding of the cells to produce membrane-bound apoptotic bodies. Different stages of apoptotic programed cell death as well as phosphatidylserine externalization were confirmed using annexin V and propidium iodide staining. Furthermore, acute exposure to the extract produced a significant regulation of c-myc, caspase-3 and p53 mRNA expression in this cell line. Due to its apoptotic effect on NCI-H23 cells, it is strongly suggested that the extract could be further developed as an anticancer drug.