Antiproliferative action of Xylopia aethiopica fruit extract on human cervical cancer cells

Phytother Res. 2011 Oct;25(10):1558-63. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3551. Epub 2011 Jun 23.


The anticancer potential of Xylopia aethiopica fruit extract (XAFE), and the mechanism of cell death it elicits, was investigated in various cell lines. Treatment with XAFE led to a dose-dependent growth inhibition in most cell lines, with selective cytotoxicity towards cancer cells and particularly the human cervical cancer cell line C-33A. In this study, apoptosis was confirmed by nuclear fragmentation and sub-G(0)/G(1) phase accumulation. The cell cycle was arrested at the G(2)/M phase with a decreased G(0)/G(1) population. A semi-quantitative gene expression study revealed dose-dependent up-regulation of p53 and p21 genes, and an increase in the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. These results indicate that XAFE could be a potential therapeutic agent against cancer since it inhibits cell proliferation, and induces apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in C-33A cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • G2 Phase / drug effects
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Xylopia*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins