Molecules, Vol. 26, Pages 6253: Palmatine, a Bioactive Protoberberine Alkaloid Isolated from Berberis cretica, Inhibits the Growth of Human Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Cells and Acts Synergistically and Additively with Doxorubicin (Molecules)
Palmatine (PLT) is a natural isoquinoline alkaloid that belongs to the class of protoberberines and exhibits a wide spectrum of pharmacological and biological properties, including anti-cancer activity. The aim of our study was to isolate PLT from the roots of Berberis cretica and investigate its cytotoxic and anti-proliferative effects in vitro alone and in combination with doxorubicine (DOX) using human ER+/HER2- breast cancer cell lines. The alkaloid was purified by column chromatography filled with silica gel NP and Sephadex LH-20 resin developed in the mixture of methanol: water (50:50 v/v) that provided high-purity alkaloid for bioactivity studies. The purity of the alkaloid was confirmed by high resolution mass measurement and MS/MS fragmentation analysis in the HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS-based analysis. It was found that PLT treatment inhibited the viability and proliferation of breast cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner as demonstrated by MTT and BrdU assays. PLT showed a quite similar growth inhibition on breast cancer cells with IC50 values ranging from 5.126 to 5.805 µg/mL. In contrast, growth of normal human breast epithelial cells was not affected by PLT. The growth inhibitory activity of PLT was related to the induction of apoptosis, as determined by Annexin V/PI staining. Moreover, PLT sensitized breast cancer cells to DOX. Isobolographic analysis revealed synergistic and additive interactions between studied agents. Our studies suggest that PLT can be a potential candidate agent for preventing and treating breast cancer.