Lichens exerts an anti-proliferative effect on human breast and lung cancer cells through induction of apoptosis.

Creative Commons License

Ozturk Ş., Erkisa M., Oran S., Ulukaya E., Celikler S., Ari F.

Drug and chemical toxicology, vol.44, pp.259-267, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01480545.2019.1573825
  • Journal Name: Drug and chemical toxicology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.259-267
  • Keywords: Apoptosis, cancer cell death, cytotoxicity, lichens, Usnea intermedia
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Successful cancer treatment still requires new complexes or compounds from natural sources. Therefore, we investigated anti-growth/apoptotic effects of methanol extracts of the lichen species (Xanthoparmelia somloensis (Gleyn.) Hale, Usnea intermedia (A. Massal.) Jatta, Bryoria capillaris (Ach.) Brodo & D. Hawksw and Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm.) on human lung (A549, H1299) and breast (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231) cancer cell lines. Anti-growth effects were monitored by the MTT and ATP viability assays. Cell death mode was evaluated by employing the fluorescence staining of nucleus, caspase-cleaved cytokeratin 18 detection, caspase 3/7 activity assay, Anneksin V cytofluorimetric assay and mitochondria membrane potential assay. Among the lichen extracts, Usnea intermedia exhibited strong anti-growth activity in a dose-dependent manner (1.56-100 mu g/ml) compared to the others. Usnea intermedia was especially cytotoxic against MDA-MB-231 and H1299 cells (IC50 value for was found 3.0 and 10.2 mu g/ml respectively). The cytotoxicity was resulted from apoptosis as proved by the presence of pyknotic nuclei, caspase 3/7 activity, phosphatidylserine translocation and loss of mitochondria membrane potential. In conclusion, Usnea intermedia warrants for further in vivo evaluation as a new alternative in cancer treatment.