Cucurbitacin B, an oxygenated tetracyclic triterpenoid extracted from the Thai medicinal plant Trichosanthes cucumerina L., exhibited strong anti-proliferative effects against breast cancer cells. However, the molecular mechanism is not completely understood, especially in colon cancer. Colon or colorectal cancer is one of the most common and the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide including in Thailand.
In this study, we explore the effect of cucurbitacin B on colon cancer cells. Caco-2 and SW620 were treated with the cucurbitacin B and determined for the inhibitory effects on the cell proliferation, transwell cell migration and invasion assay and also effected on colony formation. We examine the influence of cucurbitacin B on apoptosis and autophagy in colon cancer cells.
Upon cucurbitacin B treatment, we found it obvious that cucurbitacin B inhibited cellular proliferation, migration, invasion and colony formation by using anchorage independent growth. The result of flow cytometry also showed that cucurbitacin B can induce apoptosis and autophagy.
Our findings suggest that cucurbitacin B is effectively inhibiting colon cancer, Caco-2 and SW620 cells. However, these findings are now under further investigation in other cell types and/or other mechanisms that may contribute to the development of cucurbitacin B to anti-colon cancer agents. This submitted work provides another crucial progression in the result of cucurbitacin B in colon cancer cells. It may lead to the future application of cucurbitacin B for colon cancer therapy.
Clinical trial identification
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.