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Sreenivasan Sasidharan has completed his PhD from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2007. He is the Senior Lecturer in Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine of Universiti Sains Malaysia, a public University in Malaysia. He has published more than 100 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an Editorial Board Member and Reviewer of international journals.


Euphorbia hirta species has been used as a folk remedy in Southeast Asia for the treatment of various ailments. Th e purpose of this study was to evaluate the inhibitory eff ect of E. hirta extract on human breast cancer MCF-7 cells and investigate the possible mechanism of E. hirta. Various cytotoxicity assays, microscopes method and fl ow cytometry study was conducted to study the anticancer activity of E. hirta. Th e MTT assay showed that E. hirta inhibited MCF-7 cell viability in a dose and time-dependent manner. Microscopic studies showed that E. hirta treated cells exhibited marked morphological features characteristic of apoptosis. E. hirta extract also had an ignorable infl uence on the LDH leakage and generating intracellular ROS. Th e Annexin V/Propidium Iodide fl ow cytometry study confi rmed that E. hirta extract induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells. E. hirta extract treatment also resulted in DNA fragmentation in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, E. hirta treatment resulted in the accumulation of cells at the S and G2/M phases as well as apoptosis. Th e caspase activity study revealed that E. hirta extract induced apoptosis through the caspase-3 independent pathway by the activation of caspase-2, 6, 8 and 9. To identify the cytotoxic fraction, E. hirta extract was subjected to bioassay-guided fractionation. E. hirta hexane fraction, namely EH Hex 4 demonstrated highest activity among all the fractions tested. Th is study revealed that E. hirta induced apoptotic cell death and suggests that E. hirta could be used as an apoptosis-inducing anti-cancer agent for breast cancer treatment with further detailed studies.

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