Prostate cancer is still at the forefront causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in men throughout the globe. The disease is initiated and fostered by a subset of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Costus speciosus is an oriental herb used in traditional medicine and is a source of bioactive compounds with known pharmacological activities. The present study aims to evaluate the anticancer property of varied extracts isolated from C. speciosus against the human prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Extracts derived from C. speciosus were analyzed by chromatography-mass spectrometry and their effects on the proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptosis and cell cycle distribution of PC-3 cells were investigated. Results showed that crude hexane extract of C. speciosus (CHECS) inhibited proliferation, clonogenic and metastatic potential of PC-3 cells. It induced apoptosis in PC-3 cells associated with generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), reduction of GSH and permeabilization of mitochondrial and lysosomal membranes, induction of caspase-9/-3 activity and PARP-1 cleavage, DNA damage and an increase in ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 proteins. CHECS induced G0/G1 and G2/M arrest in PC-3 cells and targeted PC-3 prostaspheres. These findings indicate that phytochemicals of CHECS exhibit potential for natural therapeutic product development for prostate cancer.
Keywords: Phytomedicine; apoptosis; cell cycle; metastasis; oxidative stress; stem cells.