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

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

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

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/01480545.2019.1573825
  • Title of Journal : Drug and chemical toxicology
  • Page Numbers: pp.259-267
  • Keywords: Apoptosis, cancer cell death, cytotoxicity, lichens, Usnea intermedia


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.