Evaluation of Cytotoxicity Activity and NM23 Gene Expression in T47D Breast Cancer Cell Line Treated with Glycyrrhiza glabra Extract

Document Type: Research Article


1 Department of Biology, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran


Glycyrrhiza is a genus of about 20 accepted species in the legume family (Fabaceae), with a distribution in Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. Recently, about 30 species from the genus Glycyrrhiza have been found and used in traditional medicine for treating cancer. Different studies confirmed that down regulation of Non-metastatic protein (NM23), a metastasis suppressor gene is related to high metastatic potential. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Glycyrrhiza glabra extract on the expression of NM23 gene and against breast cancer (T47D) cell line. In this study, T47D cancer and MRC-5 normal cell lines were treated with different concentrations (0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, and 8 mg/ml) of G. glabra extract after 24, 48, and 72 h. 3-(4, 5-Dimethylthiazol-2yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) test was used to evaluate the effects of the extract toxicity against T47D cells. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was used to evaluate NM23 gene expression in T47D cells. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis revealed that 28 different compounds were found in the G. glabra water extract. Among the chemical constituents defined, the dominant constituents were Benzeneacetic acid, 4-hydroxy-, methyl ester (27.35%), Thiophene, Tetrahydro-2-methyl- (11.42%), Mome-Inositol (9.91%), and 5-Tridecanone (4.73%). The percent of cell toxicity revealed that the effect of toxicity is related to the time and dose. The mRNA levels of NM23 gene expression were significantly increased in the T47D cells treated with IC50 concentration of G. glabra (P < 0.001, 30.33 fold). This amount in sub-IC50 concentration of the extract was 5.06 (p < 0.01) fold, showing a positive effect of the extract in enhancing the NM23 expression as compared to the control groups after 72 h. The result showed that G. glabra has the potential to cure breast cancer by enhancing NM23 expression. Therefore, it is suggested that more researches are needed to find some effective combinations in the plant to design new and effective drugs to treat cancer.


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