Aim: Despite enormous progress in cancer biology, oncologists are still struggling to retrieve the methods and drugs to cure cancer which remains a global threat to humans. Plant-derived natural compounds, also known as phytochemicals, carry therapeutic potential and could be taken as dietary supplements, which are a radical way to resist as well as cure cancer. The present study reveals the anti-cancerous potential of a few phytochemical constituents under in vitro conditions and their mode of action on cervical cancer. SiHa was treated with phytochemicals viz. Quercetin dihydrate, Gallic Acid, and Naringin with varying concentrations to assess their cytotoxicity potential by various methods and also to elucidate their IC50 values.
Methods: All three compounds reduced the cell number and viability, along with alterations in cancer cell morphology. The diagnosed IC50 values of the compounds were 160µM, 200µM, and 1500µM for Quercetin dihydrate, Gallic Acid, and Naringin, respectively. DNA fragmentation assay and gene expression analysis were also used to assess apoptosis and anti-proliferative activity of compounds.
Results: We found fragmented DNA in treated cells as assessed by gel electrophoresis assay. These phytochemicals elicit an apoptotic response in SiHa cells by significantly up-regulating the gene expression level of p53 and p21 (p-value <0.005).
Conclusion: Considering the anti-cancer and anti-proliferative potential of Quercetin dihydrate, Gallic Acid, and Naringin on the cervical cancer cell line, these phytochemicals could be used as an alternative or concurrent cancer therapeutic approach. However, further in-depth elucidation of their mode of action, safety, and efficacy should be explored.
Keywords: Cervical cancer; DNA damage; anti-proliferative; anticancer activity; phytochemicals.