BioMed research international

Trigonella foenum (Fenugreek) Induced Apoptosis in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line, HepG2, Mediated by Upregulation of p53 and Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen.

PMID 26557712


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide and most current therapies are of limited efficacy. Trigonella foenum (Fenugreek) is a traditional herbal plant with antitumor activity, although the mechanisms of its activity remain unclear. Herein, a crude methanol extract was prepared from Fenugreek seeds (FCE) and its anticancer mechanism was evaluated, using HepG2 cell line. Growth-inhibitory effect and apoptosis induction of HepG2 cells were evidenced by MTT assay, cell morphology alteration, apoptosis enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, flow cytometric analysis, caspase-3 activity, and expression of p53, proapoptotic protein, Bax, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) after (100 ∼ 500 μg/mL) FCE treatment for 48 h. Furthermore, FCE was analyzed by Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). Our results revealed that FCE treatment for 48 h showed a cytotoxic effect and apoptosis induction in a dose-dependent manner that was mediated by upregulation of p53, Bax, PCNA, and caspase-3 activation in HepG2 cells. GC-MS analysis of FCE showed the presence of fourteen bioactive compounds such as Terpenoids and Flavonoids, including two main constituents with anticancer activity, Squalene and Naringenin (27.71% and 24.05%), respectively. Our data introduced FCE as a promising nontoxic herbal with therapeutic potential to induce apoptosis in HepG2 cells through p53, Bax, and PCNA upregulation in caspase-3 dependent manner.