Effect of the standardized Cimicifuga foetida extract on Hsp 27 expression in the MCF-7 cell line
Cimicifuga foetida, an Asian Cimicifuga species, has been employed as a cooling and detoxification agent in traditional Chinese medicine since ancient times. For this herb, two cycloartane triterpene glycosides isolated from the rhizomes have demonstrated cytotoxicity on rat tumor and human cancer cell lines. Since human Hsp27 is increased in various human cancers and exhibits cytoprotective activity that affects tumorigenesis and the susceptibility of tumours to cancer treatment, the purpose of this research was to study the expression of this protein in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. To accomplish this aim, MCF-7 cells were exposed to different concentrations of Cimicifuga foetida extract showing a reduction in cell number measured by the sulforhodamine assay. In addition, the expression of Hsp-27 mRNA detected by RT-PCR and Hsp-27 protein detected by immnofluorescence was present in all conditions, except when using the highest concentration of Cimicifuga foetida extract (2,000 jig /L). We conclude that Hsp 27 expression at 2,000 jig /L Cimicifuga foetida extract is diminished. This is the first report showing the Hsp-27 expression after exposure to Cimicifuga foetida extract in MCF-7 cells.