The anti-cancer property of proteins extracted from Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr

PLoS One. 2013 Jul 11;8(7):e68524. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068524. Print 2013.


Gynura procumbens (Lour.) Merr. belongs to the Asteraceae Family. The plant is a well-known traditional herb in South East Asia and it is widely used to treat inflammation, kidney discomfort, high cholesterol level, diabetic, cancer and high blood pressure. Our earlier study showed the presence of valuable plant defense proteins, such as peroxidase, thaumatin-like proteins and miraculin in the leaf of G. procumbens. However, the effects of these defense proteins on cancers have never been determined previously. In the present study, we investigated the bioactivity of gel filtration fractionated proteins of G. procumbens leaf extract. The active protein fraction, SN-F11/12, was found to inhibit the growth of a breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-231, at an EC50 value of 3.8 µg/mL. The mRNA expressions of proliferation markers, Ki67 and PCNA, were reduced significantly in the MDA-MB-23 cells treated with SN-F11/12. The expression of invasion marker, CCL2, was also found reduced in the treated MDA-MB-231 cells. All these findings highlight the anti-cancer property of SN-F11/12, therefore, the proteins in this fraction can be a potential chemotherapeutic agent for breast cancer treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Asteraceae / chemistry*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CCL2 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Proteins
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen

Grant support

This work was supported by RU grant from Universiti Sains Malaysia (Project number: 1001/PFARMASI/815034). The authors also thank The Institute for Graduate Studies of Universiti Sains Malaysia for providing scholarship to Hew Chaw-Sen. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.