Inhibitory Effects of Eurycoma longifolia Extracts and Eurycomanone on The Growth of Cancer Cell Lines


Yusmazura Z, Azimatol Hawariah LP, Noor Rain A, Asmah R and Zakiah I.


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007), Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Eurycoma longifolia, eurycomanone, anti-proliferation


Eurycoma longifoliaJack, from the family of Simaroubaceae is commonly distributed in South East Asia including Malaysia. Locally it is know as Tongkat Ali. The plant has achieved a considerable attention for its medicinal properties and traditional claims as treatment of ailments including reduces fever, the concoction is used as tonic for wellness, sexual insufficiency and anti ulcer. A lot of research has been carried out on the plant materials for their scientific evidence as claimed. The present study is to investigate the effects of bothE. longifolia(root extracts) and Eurycomanone, a compound isolated from the root extract on the anti proliferation activities to a panel of cancer and normal cell lines; skin cancer (HM3KO), Cervical cancer (HeLa), Liver Cancer (HepG2), Ovarian cancer (CaOV3) and normal cell lines, Chang’s liver and OCD11114sk (fibroblast cells). The anti proliferation assay was carried out using the MTT Cell Proliferation Assay.  Briefiy the cells were exposed to a varying concentration ofE. longifoliaextracts or the compound for 72 hours. Then the cells were incubated with MTT reagent for approximately 2 to 4 hours followed by addition of a detergent solution to lyses the cells and solubilize the colored crystals. The assay measures the reduction of a tetrazolium component (MTT) into an insoluble formazan product by the mitochondria of viable cells. The samples are read using an ELISA plate reader at a wavelength of 570 nm. The amount of color produced is directly proportional to the number of viable cells. The findings showed thatE. longifoliaroot extracts inhibit cell proliferation towards HM3KO, HeLa, HepG2 and CaOV3 cells with an IC50 of 60 μg/ml, 60 μg/ml,45 μg/ml and 81 μg/ml respectively. The extracts did not inhibit the cell proliferation for both normal cell lines used. It has a potent activity to HepG2 with an IC50 45 μg/ml. The activity of Eurycomanone towards HepG2 gave an IC50 of 3.8 μg/ml and significantly increased apoptosis in HepG2 cells as evaluated by Hoechst 33258 staining. Generally the study indicated that Eurycomanone is most potent towards HepG2 cells in vitro. Currently it’s efficacy against liver cancer cells are being testedin vivousing xenograph on nude mice.