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Anticancer activities of phenolic compounds from Moringa oleifera leaves: in vitro and in silico mechanistic study

  • Mumtaz, Muhammad Zahid1
  • Kausar, Fareeda1
  • Hassan, Mubashir1
  • Javaid, Shaista1
  • Malik, Arif1
  • 1 The University of Lahore, Main Campus, Lahore, 54000, Pakistan , Lahore (Pakistan)
Published Article
Beni-Suef University Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Feb 10, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s43088-021-00101-2
Springer Nature


BackgroundMoringa oleifera is a common vegetable in many countries since ancient times, possesses numerous phenolic compounds having a wide array of biological activities. It possesses anticancer activity that can be used to develop new drugs for treatment of various types of cancers. The current study was conducted to evaluate the composition of phenolic compounds and in vitro and in silico anticancer activities of M. oleifera leaves extracts. The leaves of M. oleifera were subjected to extraction for solvent fraction using n-hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, butanol, and aqueous solvents. The solvent fractions were tested for anticancer activity in vitro against Hela cancer cell line and screened for phenolic compounds through reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography. The molecular docking approach was employed to check binding conformations of phytochemicals against the target protein.ResultThe result revealed that all the solvent fractions possess in vitro anticancer activity against Hela cancer cell line. The n-hexane fraction showed a 50% reduction in Hela cancer cell viability at 416 μg mL−1 as compared to control. The extracts of solvent-fraction contained 10 phenolic compounds viz. quercetin, gallic acid, sinapic acid, vanillic acid, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy benzoic acid, p-coumaric acid, m-coumaric acid, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy cinnamic acid, caffeic acid, and syringic acid. Molecular docking studies revealed that the ligands bind within the active site of target protein have good binding energy values.ConclusionThis study shows that M. oleifera leaves may have the potential to inhibit cancer cell growth and improving human health in addition to food ingredient innovations. Based on in vitro and in silico results, the phytochemicals from M. oleifera leaves can be used as leading drugs to treat cancer.Graphical abstract

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