Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 77–82

Methanolic Extracts of Uncaria rhynchophylla Induce Cytotoxicity and Apoptosis in HT-29 Human Colon Carcinoma Cells

  • Kyung-Jin Jo
  • Mi-Ran Cha
  • Mi-Ra Lee
  • Mi-Young Yoon
  • Hae-Ryong Park
Original Paper


In this paper, we report the anticancer activities of Uncaria rhynchophylla extracts, a Rubiaceae plant native to China. Traditionally, Uncaria rhynchophylla has been used in the prevention and treatment of neurotoxicity. However, the cytotoxic activity of Uncaria rhynchophylla against human colon carcinoma cells has not, until now, been elucidated. We found that the methanolic extract of Uncaria rhynchophylla (URE) have cytotoxic effects on HT-29 cells. The URE showed highly cytotoxic effects via the MTT reduction assay, LDH release assay, and colony formation assay. As expected, URE inhibited the growth of HT-29 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In particular, the methanolic URE of the 500 μg/ml showed 15.8% inhibition against growth of HT-29 cells. It induced characteristic apoptotic effects in HT-29 cells, including chromatin condensation and sharking occurring 24 h when the cells were treated at a concentration of the 500 μg/ml. The activation of caspase-3 and the specific proteolytic cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase were detected over the course of apoptosis induction. These results indicate that URE contains bioactive materials with strong activity, and is a potential chemotherapeutic agent candidate against HT-29 human colon carcinoma cells.


Anticancer Cytotoxicity HT-29 cells Herbal medicine Uncaria rhynchophyll 



dimethyl sulfoxide


lactate dehydrogenase


3-(4,5-dimethyl-thiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-tetrazolium bromide


methanolic extract of Uncaria rhynchophylla


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyung-Jin Jo
    • 1
  • Mi-Ran Cha
    • 1
  • Mi-Ra Lee
    • 1
  • Mi-Young Yoon
    • 1
  • Hae-Ryong Park
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Science and BiotechnologyKyungnam UniversityMasanSouth Korea

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