Inhibition of tumor growth and angiogenesis by water extract of Gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng)

Int J Oncol. 2005 Apr;26(4):881-9.


The antitumor activity of the crude water extract from Gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis) was investigated in vivo and in vitro. A water extract prepared from 0.75 and 0.25 mg dry weight of Gac fruit per gram body weight was given daily to Balb/c mice (n=15/group). The water extract inhibited the growth of the colon 26-20 adenocarcinoma cell line, transplanted in Balb/c mice, reducing wet tumor weight by 23.6%. Histological and immunohistochemical results indicated that Gac water extract reduced the density of blood vessels around the carcinoma. The water extract also produced a marked suppression of cell proliferation in colon 26-20 and HepG2 cells. Cell cycle analysis demonstrated a significant accumulation of cells in the S phase by water extract. Immunoblotting showed that cyclin A, Cdk2, p27waf1/Kip1 were down-regulated, whereas the protein level of p21waf1/Cip1 was not decreased. Treatment of colon 26-20 cells with Gac extract induced necrosis rather than apoptosis. The antitumor component was confirmed as a protein with molecular weight of 35 kDa, retained in the water-soluble high molecular weight fraction. Thus, the bioactive antitumor compound in Gac extract is a protein, which is distinct from lycopene, another compound in Gac fruit with potential antitumor activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cyclin A / biosynthesis
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Down-Regulation
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Immunoblotting
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Momordica / chemistry*
  • Necrosis
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Water / chemistry


  • Cdkn1a protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin A
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Plant Extracts
  • Water