The biological activities of the ethanol extract from Cirsium japonicum var. maackii (ICF-1) and its major component, polyphenol cirsimaritin, were investigated as part of the search for possible alternative drugs for breast cancer. Three in vitro cell-based assays were used: the cell proliferation assay, tube-formation assay, and Western blot analysis. Both the ICF-1 extract and cirsimaritin inhibited the viability of HUVECs in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibition achieved was 36.89% at a level of 200μg/ml by the ICF-1 extract and 62.04% at a level of 100μM by cirsimaritin. The ICF-1 extract and cirsimaritin reduced tube formation by 12.69% at level of 25μg/ml and 32.18% at the levels of 6.25μM, respectively. Cirsimaritin inhibited angiogenesis by downregulation of VEGF, p-Akt and p-ERK in MDA-MB-231 cells, suggesting that cirsimaritin is potentially useful as an anti-metastatic agent. The present study demonstrated that Cirsium japonicum extract and its active component cirsimaritin is an excellent candidate as an alternative anti-breast cancer drug.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Cirsimaritin; Cirsium japonicum var. maackii; Metastasis; Natural plant extract.
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