Pharmacological activities of Artemisia absinthium and control of hepatic cancer by expression regulation of TGFβ1 and MYC genes

PLoS One. 2023 Apr 13;18(4):e0284244. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0284244. eCollection 2023.


Plant derived compounds have always been an important source of medicines and have received significant attention in recent years due to their diverse pharmacological properties. Millions of plant-based herbal or traditional medicines are used to cure various types of cancers especially due to activation of proliferative genes. The aim of the present study was to characterize the altered and attenuated gene expression of the selected growth factor namely Transforming growth factor Beta -1 (TGFβ1) and MYC in human hepatoma-derived (Huh7) liver cancer cell lines in response to extracts of Artemisia absinthium dissolved in selected organic solvents. Ethanolic, methanolic and acetone extract of different plant parts (leaf, stem and flowers) was used to access the antiproliferative activity by MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-Diphenyltetrazolium Bromide) assay. Quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR revealed that the transcript levels of TGFβ1 are induced in the samples treated with methanolic extract of Artemisia absinthium. Furthermore, reduced expression levels of MYC gene was noticed in cancerous cells suggesting antiproliferative properties of the plant. This study further highlights the resistance profile of various microbes by antimicrobial susceptibility test with plant extracts. In addition, antidiabetic effect of Artemisia absinthium have also shown positive results. Our study elucidates the potentials of Artemisia absinthium as a medicinal plant, and highlights the differential expression of genes involved in its mitogenic and anti-proliferative activity with a brief account of its pharmacological action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artemisia absinthium*
  • Artemisia*
  • Genes, myc
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Solvents
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism


  • Plant Extracts
  • Solvents
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1

Grants and funding

The research was funded by NRPU Project Grant no 5588 to MZ & MAK by Higher Education Commission, Pakistan. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.