Undergraduate Research

Purification and characterization of 4T1 breast cancer cell cytotoxins from Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary).

Taylor Eaves, Trevor Burrow, Libby Saultz, Jarrett Ross, Dr. Adam Reinhart, and Dr. Gary Gray, Wayland Baptist University.

Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in America. Anti-inflammatory drugs have been evaluated as possible treatments, due to their ability to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme. Rosemary is an herb with a long history of use in ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent. Powdered Rosemary root was subjected to Soxhlet extraction. The extract components were isolated by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). Purities of the isolated compounds were evaluated via High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and TLC with appropriate standards (carnosic acid and ursolic acid) in attempting to identify the unknown compounds. The compounds isolated from the root extract via TLC were evaluated for cell toxicity on 4T1 cancer cells grown in culture, looking specifically for the induction of apoptosis. From the MTS assay and Bioluminescence assay, one compound (Band 8) was effective in killing 4T1 breast cancer cells. Based upon chromatographic behavior (comigration on HPLC and TLC analysis), it appears likely that Band 8 is carnosic acid.

Cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of Zingiber officinalea (Ginger Root) and Sanguinaria canadensis (Blood Root) in 4T1 murine breast cancer cell lines.

Libby Saultz, Jarrett Ross, Trevor A. Burrow, Dr. Gary O. Gray, and Dr. Adam J. Reinhart, Wayland Baptist University.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among females in the United States. For many years, traditional methods of treatment, such as surgery and various forms of therapy, have been viewed as the only form of cancer treatment available. However, in recent years, an increasing number of people have been turning to medicinal plants as a possible option for cancer treatment. In previous studies, we have demonstrated that ethanolic extracts of several medicinal plants were found to be cytotoxic on the 4T1 murine breast cancer cell line. This study sought to further investigate whether two of these plant extracts, Zingiber officinalea (Ginger Root), and Sanguinaria canadensis (Blood Root) were causing apoptosis and / or cell cycle arrest. Cells were assayed for apoptosis and cell cycle arrest using caspase activity assays and western blots to determine activity and / or presence of caspase and cell cycle proteins following treatment of 4T1 cells with blood root and ginger root. The assays showed differences in expression of cell cycle proteins for cells treated with both plants. Additionally, western blots showed activation of Caspase-3, Caspase-12, and cleavage of PARP, suggesting that cells treated with both plants may be going through apoptosis via the endoplasmic stress pathway.