Methanol extract from Vietnamese Caesalpinia sappan induces apoptosis in HeLa cells
BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the cytotoxic activity of extracts from Caesalpinia sappan heartwood against multiple cancer cell lines using an MTT cell viability assay. The cell death though induction of apoptosis was as indicated by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 enzyme activation. RESULTS: A methanol extract from C. sappan (MECS) showed cytotoxic activity against several of the cancer cell lines. The most potent activity exhibited by the MECS was against HeLa cells with an IC50value of 26.5 ± 3.2 µg/mL. Treatment of HeLa cells with various MECS concentrations resulted in growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis, as indicated by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 enzyme activation. CONCLUSION: This study is the first report of the anticancer properties of the heartwood of C. sappan native to Vietnam. Our findings demonstrate that C. sappan heartwood may have beneficial applications in the field of anticancer drug discovery.