TitleCD24 gene inhibition and TIMP-4 gene upregulation by Imperata cylindrica's root extract prevents metastasis of CaSki cells via inhibiting PI3K/Akt/snail signaling pathway and blocking EMT
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsNayim P, Mbaveng AT, Sanjukta M, Rikesh J, Kuete V, Krishna S
JournalJ Ethnopharmacol
Date Published04/2021

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch (Gramineae) is a medicinal spice traditionally used in the treatment of hypertension and cancer.

Aim of the study: To assess the anti-metastatic potential of the methanol extract of I. cylindrica roots and determined its mechanisms of action.

Material and methods: The growth inhibition activity of I. cylindrica root extract in vitro and in vivo in human cervical cancer. The scratch assay and Boyden Chamber assay were used to determine the anti-migrative and anti-invasion actions of the plant extract. The whole-genome gene expression profiling using RNA-Seq was performed to determine the differentially expressed genes in CaSki cells after exposure to I. cylindrica to identify its targeted genes related to metastasis. Using protein analysis (western blotting) and gene expression analysis (RTqPCR), the targeted pathways of the key genes that were initially identified with RNA-Seq, were evaluated.

Results: I. cylindrica extract showed dose-dependent cytotoxicity in vitro and in vivo in mice bearing tumors. Furthermore, I. cylindrica root extract significantly inhibited cell migration and cell invasion. After the genome-wide transcriptome analysis, we found that important genes involved in cancer progression and metastasis of cervical cancer, that is, CD24 and TIMP-4 were significantly downregulated and upregulated, respectively. Moreover, I. cylindrica root extract significantly inhibited the PI3/AKT/Snail signaling pathway and blocked the EMT of CaSki cells.

Conclusion: These findings provide an anti-metastatic mechanism of action of I. cylindrica root extract toward the human cervical cancer suggesting that this plant maybe developed into selective chemotherapy.