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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 129697, 15 pages
Research Article

Achyranthes aspera Root Extracts Induce Human Colon Cancer Cell (COLO-205) Death by Triggering the Mitochondrial Apoptosis Pathway and S Phase Cell Cycle Arrest

Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Jaypee University of Information Technology, Waknaghat, Solan, Himachal Pradesh 173234, India

Received 23 July 2014; Accepted 28 August 2014; Published 27 October 2014

Academic Editor: David E. Misek

Copyright © 2014 Shagun Arora and Simran Tandon. 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.


Achyranthes aspera (AA) has been used traditionally for the cure of various disorders. However, the action of root extracts of AA as anticancer agent and its cellular mechanism remain unclear. The aim was to screen the antitumor effect of ethanolic (EAA) and aqueous (AAA) root extracts on the growth of colon cancer COLO-205 cells by testing their cytotoxicity, followed by their effect on clonogenicity, migration, and induction of apoptosis. Mechanisms leading to apoptosis and cell cycle arrest were also investigated by expression studies of caspase-9, caspase-3, Bax, Bcl-2, p16, p21, and p27 genes, followed by flow cytometric analysis for cell cycle distribution. Cytotoxicity screening of AA extracts indicated greater cytotoxic activity of AAA extract against COLO-205 cells. A series of events marked by apoptosis revealed loss of cell viability, chromatin condensation, and DNA fragmentation in AAA treated cells to a greater extent. The mRNA expression levels of caspase-9, caspase-3, Bax, p16, p21, and p27 were markedly increased in the AAA treated cells, along with decreased Bcl-2 expression. The cell cycle arrest at S phase was detected by flow cytometric analysis after treatment with AAA. Overall the study signifies the aqueous extracts as a promising therapeutic candidate against cancer.