Cytotoxicity analysis of active components in bitter melon (Momordica charantia) seed extracts using human embryonic kidney and colon tumor cells

Elizabeth S. Chipps, Renuka Jayini, Shoko Ando, April D. Protzman, M. Zubayed Muhi, M. Abdul Mottaleb, Ahmed Malkawi, M. Rafiq Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) seed extracts (BMSE) have been used as traditional medicine for treating various ailments, although in many cases, the active component(s) are unidentified. In this study, bitter melon seeds were extracted in water, ethanol, or ethanol: water (1:1). The aqueous seed extracts (BMSE-W) exhibited marked cytotoxicity towards human embryonic kidney 293T (HEK293T) and human colon tumor 116 (HCT116) cells. The activity in BMSE-W was unaffected by heat and proteinases treatments, and eluted in the total volume of size-exclusion HPLC, suggesting the small, organic nature of the active component(s). Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometic (GC-MS) analysis of the HPLC fractions identified methoxy-phenyl oxime (MPO) as a major active component. Acetophenone oxime, a commercially available structural homolog of MPO, demonstrated cytotoxicity comparable with that of the BMSE-W. The oxime functional group was found to be critical for activity. Increased poly-(ADP-ribose)-polymerase and β-actin cleavage, and chromatin condensation observed in treated cells suggested apoptosis as a plausible cause for the cytotoxicity. This study, for the first time, identified a cytotoxic oxime in BMSE-W.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1208
Number of pages6
JournalNatural Product Communications
Volume7
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Bitter melon
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Momordica charantia
  • Oxime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Plant Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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