Evaluation of anticancer activity of Plumbago indica root extract on cervical HeLa cancer cells


  • Benjaporn BURANRAT Mahasarakham University, Faculty of Medicine, Talat, Muang district, Maha Sarakham, 44000 (TH) https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1554-6327
  • Pornpimon WONGSUWAN Mahasarakham University, Faculty of Medicine, Talat, Muang district, Maha Sarakham, 44000 (TH)
  • Wichuda PHIPHITPHIBUNSUK University of Phayao, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmaceutical Care, Phayao 56000 (TH)




apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, cervical cancer cells, migration, mitochondrial dysfunction, Plumbago indica


Plumbago indica L. has a various pharmacological activity; however, the anticancer activity in cervical cancer has less information. To examine the antiproliferative, apoptotic, and antimigratory activity of Plumbago indica root extract on cervical cancer cells. The extract of P. indica was explored for cell viability, apoptosis, and migration by sulforhodamine B, colony formation, cell cycle distribution, Wound healing, Annexin V-FITC staining apoptotic, mitochondrial function, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation. The data indicated that P. indica extract suppressed HeLa cervical cells viability by dose- and time-dependent manner along with the reduction of cancer cell number and colony forming ability. After 48 h of incubation period, the PR extract exhibited a significant reduction of migratory ability by dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, these extracts significantly showed a reduction of cell viability along with induction of late apoptosis. The mechanism of action was shown by detecting mitochondrial dysfunction and activating of ROS formation on HeLa cells-treated with P. indica extract. The extract of P. indica has a growth inhibition, migratory suppression, and apoptotic induction. The extract has an anticancer activity by reducing mitochondrial function and activating ROS formation.


Anuf AR, Ramachandran R, Krishnasamy R, Gandhi PS, Periyasamy S (2014). Antiproliferative effects of Plumbago rosea and its purified constituent plumbagin on SK-MEL 28 melanoma cell lines. Pharmacognosy Research 6(4):312-319. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-8490.138280

Canfell K, Kim JJ, Brisson M, Keane A, Simms KT, Caruana M, … Hutubessy R (2020). Mortality impact of achieving WHO cervical cancer elimination targets: a comparative modelling analysis in 78 low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Lancet 395(10224):591-603. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30157-4

Chao CC, Hou SM, Huang CC, Hou CH, Chen PC, Liu JF (2017). Plumbagin induces apoptosis in human osteosarcoma through ROS generation, endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Molecular Medicine Reports 16(4):5480-5488. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2017.7222

Chen G, Yue Y, Qin J, Xiao X, Ren Q, Xiao B (2017). Plumbagin suppresses the migration and invasion of glioma cells via downregulation of MMP-2/9 expression and inaction of PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in vitro. Journal of Pharmacological Sciences 134(1):59-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphs.2017.04.003

Fares J, Fares MY, Khachfe HH, Salhab HA, Fares Y (2020). Molecular principles of metastasis: a hallmark of cancer revisited. Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy 5 (28):1-17. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41392-020-0134-x

Gharbaran R, Shi C, Onwumere O, Redenti S (2021). Plumbagin induces cytotoxicity via loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and caspase activation in metastatic retinoblastoma. Anticancer Research 41(10):4725-4732. https://doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.15287

Guo C, Sun L, Chen X, Zhang D (2013). Oxidative stress, mitochondrial damage and neurodegenerative diseases. Neural Regeneration Research 8:2003-2014. https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1673-5374.2013.21.009

Itharat A, Rattarom R, Hansakul P, Sakpakdeejaroen I, Ooraikul B, Davies NM (2021). The effects of Benjakul extract and its isolated compounds on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human non-small cell lung cancer cell line NCI-H226. Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences 16(2):129-140. https://doi.org/10.4103/1735-5362.310520

Jaiswal A, Sabarwal A, Narayan Mishra JP, Singh RP (2018). Plumbagin induces ROS-mediated apoptosis and cell cycle arrest and inhibits EMT in human cervical carcinoma cells. RSC Advances 8:32022-32037. https://doi.org/10.1039/c8ra05339a

Jose B, Dhanya BP, Silja PK, Krishnan PN, Satheeshkumar K (2014). Plumbago rosea L. A review on tissue culture and pharmacological research. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research 25(4):246-256.

Kaewbumrunga S, Panichayupakarananta P (2012). Isolation of three antibacterial naphthoquinones from Plumbago indica roots and development of a validated quantitative HPLC analytical method. Natural Product Research 26(21):2020-2023. https://doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2011.628670

Kapare HS, Metkar SR, Shirolkar SV (2020). Anticancer potential of Plumbago zeylanica Linn. and its isolated constituent plumbagin: a review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research 11:4859-4865. https://doi.org/10.13040/IJPSR.0975-8232.11(10).4859-65

Li J, Shen Q, Peng R, Chen R, Jiang P, Li Y, Zhang L, Lu J (2010). Plumbagin enhances TRAIL-mediated apoptosis through up-regulation of death receptor in human melanoma A375 cells. Journal of Huazhong University of Science and Technology 30(4):458-463. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11596-010-0449-x

NavaneethaKrishnan S, Rosales JL, Lee KY (2019). ROS-Mediated cancer cell killing through dietary phytochemicals. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity v.2019:9051542. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/9051542

Priyanjani HASA, Senarath RMUS, Senarath WPTSK, Munasinghe MLAMS (2021). Propagation, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Plumbago indica - a review. Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International 33(42B):188-202. https://doi.org/10.9734/jpri/2021/v33i42B32439

Raja Sundari BK, Telapolu S, Dwarakanath BS, Thyagarajan SP (2017). Cytotoxic and antioxidant effects in various tissue extracts of Plumbago zeylanica: implications for anticancer Potential. Pharmacognosy Journal 9(5):706-712. https://doi.org/10.5530/pj.2017.5.111

Siegel RL, Miller KD, Fuchs HE, Jemal A (2022). Cancer statistics, 2022. A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 71(1):7-33. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21708

Smith HO, Tiffany MF, Qualls CR, Key CR (2000). The rising incidence of adenocarcinoma relative to squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix in the United States--a 24-year population-based study. Gynecologic Oncology 78(2):97-105. https://doi.org/10.1006/gyno.2000.5826

Srinivas P, Gopinath G, Banerji A, Dinakar A, Srinivas G (2004). Plumbagin induces reactive oxygen species, which mediate apoptosis in human cervical cancer cells. Molecular Carcinogenesis 40(4):201-211. https://doi.org10.1002/mc.20031

Thitiorul S, Ratanavalachai T, Tanuchit S, Itharat A, Sakpakdeejaroen I (2013). Genotoxicity and interference with cell cycle activities by an ethanolic extract from Thai Plumbago indica roots in human lymphocytes in vitro. Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention 14(4):2487-2490. https://doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.4.2487

Yin Z, Zhang J, Chen L, Guo Q, Yang B, Zhang W, Kang W (2020). Anticancer effects and mechanisms of action of plumbagin: review of research advances. BioMed Research International 2020:6940953. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/6940953

Zhang H, Zhang A, Gupte AA, Hamilton DJ (2021). Plumbagin elicits cell-specific cytotoxic effects and metabolic responses in melanoma cells. Pharmaceutics 13(5):706-721. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13050706



How to Cite

BURANRAT, B., WONGSUWAN, P., & PHIPHITPHIBUNSUK, W. (2023). Evaluation of anticancer activity of Plumbago indica root extract on cervical HeLa cancer cells. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 51(3), 12990. https://doi.org/10.15835/nbha51312990



Research Articles
DOI: 10.15835/nbha51312990

Most read articles by the same author(s)