Ethanol extracts of Allium sp. regulate cyclooxygenase-2 and E-cadherin expression in gastric cancer MKN74 cell line and enhance doxorubicin toxicity

  • Agnieszka Korga
  • Marta Ostrowska Department of Toxicology, Medical University of Lublin
  • Magdalena Iwan
  • Małgorzata Skierucha
  • Aleksandra Józefczyk
  • Piotr Pawłowski
  • Jaroslaw Dudka
  • Ryszard Maciejewski
  • Robert Sitarz
Keywords: garlic, Allium species, gastric cancer, cyclooxygenase 2, E-cadherin


Background: Gastric cancer (GC) remains one of the leading causes of cancer-related death. Its aetiology is multifactorial, but the major risk factor is a high in salt diet. During gastric carcinogenesis, cadherin-1 (CDH1) down-expression and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) overexpression may be observed. The intensity of these alterations contributes to the GC invasion, its metastases and poor prognosis. As the diet plays a significant role in the aetiology of GC, it is reasonable to include the nutritional chemoprevention agents. One of the plant genus demonstrating chemoprotective properties is Allium genus, which includes garlic. The relationship between CDH1 and COX2 in GC cells treated with Allium species extract has never been evaluated.

Methods: In this study, the MKN28 and MKN74 GC cell lines were treated with ethanol extracts of Allium angulosum L., Allium lusitanicum Lam., Allium sativum L. (from Malaysia and Poland), Allium tibeticum Rendle and Allium ursinum L. The cytotoxicity of the extracts and their influence on COX2 and CDH1 mRNA and protein expression were evaluated as well as their influence on doxorubicin’s (DOX) efficacy – a drug that has been used in GC treatment.

Results: Among the tested species, ethanol extracts of A. sativum L. (Poland and Malaysia), A. tibeticum Rendle and A. ursinum L. influenced the levels of CDH1 and COX2, but only in the MKN74 cell line. Thus, it is possible that tumours with increased COX2 expression will be more susceptible to garlic treatment. Observed phenomenon was independent of Allium extract’s toxicity. In comparison to DOX, tested extracts were more toxic. Moreover, A. sativum revealed synergistic effect with the drug.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the results indicate the potential application of Allium genus to GC chemoprevention and treatment support through CDH restoration and COX2 downregulation. This issue needs further investigations as it might be used in clinics.


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How to Cite
Korga A, Ostrowska M, Iwan M, Skierucha M, Józefczyk A, Pawłowski P, Dudka J, Maciejewski R, Sitarz R. Ethanol extracts of <em>Allium</em&gt; sp. regulate cyclooxygenase-2 and E-cadherin expression in gastric cancer MKN74 cell line and enhance doxorubicin toxicity. fnr [Internet]. 2019Jun.25 [cited 2019Jul.20];630. Available from:
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