Antiproliferative and Apoptotic Studies of the Standardised Extracts of Etlingera elatior on Human Colorectal Carcinoma Cells

  • Chun Wai Mai


Etlingera elatior (Zingiberaceae), locally known as kantan, has been used in Traditional Malay Medicine for various ailments. Plants belong to Zingiberaceae family are well known for antiproliferative effects on various cancer cells. Only two preliminary scientific reports were found in the literature on the antiproliferative activity of E. elatior on human breast (MCF-7), Tlymphoblastoid (CEM-SS) and glandular cervix (HeLa) cancer cells. Low incidence of colorectal cancer in malay community may be attributed to their dietary habits, especially ulams. Therefore, we investigated the antiproliferative activities of the standardised ethanol (95%) and acetone extracts from leaves, rhizomes, stems and flowers of E. elatior on human colorectal cancer (HT-29) and non-cancerous Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells using MTT Assay. The extracts were standardised by determining their total phenolic content, total flavonoid content and total anthocyanin content. The acetone extract from leaves of E. elatior was the most potent with an IC50 value of 170±0.05μg/mL on HT-29. It did not inhibit the proliferation of CHO cells at concentrations up to 250 μg/mL. The cell death induced was through apoptosis as detected by phosphatidylserine translocation and caspase-3 activation. The extent of necrosis was negligible compared to the extent of apoptosis.