• ATISH BARUA Department of Cancer Chemoprevention, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • PRITHA CHOUDHURY Department of Cancer Chemoprevention, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • CHINMAY KUMAR PANDA Department of Oncogene Regulation, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • PROSENJIT SAHA Department of Cancer Chemoprevention, Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal.


Objective: Swertia chirata forms a rich source of bio-active compounds, among which xanthones form an important part. Among the xanthones present in it, 1,5,8 Tri-hydroxy-3-methoxy xanthone (TMX) was found to be the most active. The present study aims to evaluate the chemotherapeutic potential of it against metastatic skin cancer cell lines.

Methods: In this study, the antitumor activity of TMX (the active component of chirata plant) was evaluated in A431, SKMEL-5, and A375 cell line by using in-vitro assays such as cell viability assay, cell cycle analysis, caspase 3 activity assay, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level determination by dichlorofluorescein diacetate, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).

Results: In vitro studies showed that TMX from S. chirata exhibited significant antitumor activity by inducing apoptosis and restricting proliferation in both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer cell lines, but no such activity was seen in normal skin cancer cell line WS1. The qRT-PCR analysis revealed that in both the melanoma ad non-melanoma cell lines, TMX could exert its antitumor activity by downregulating c-Myc, cyclin-D1, and β-catenin and up-regulating Wnt antagonist gsk-3β, thereby suppressing wnt self-renewal pathway, but such regulation was absent in normal cell line.

Conclusions: TMX from chirata could effectively inhibit the proliferation of metastatic skin cancer (both melanoma and non-melanoma) cell lines while being non-toxic to normal cell lines. The chemotherapeutic potential of TMX against metastatic skin cancer cell lines was achieved by downregulating several key regulatory genes enabling the suppression of the self-renewal pathway, the chief reason behind the invasiveness of cancer cells.

Keywords: Chirata, Metastasis, Melanoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Xanthones


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How to Cite
BARUA, A., P. CHOUDHURY, C. K. PANDA, and P. SAHA. “CHEMOTHERAPEUTIC POTENTIAL OF NOVEL XANTHONE SOURCED FROM SWERTIA CHIRATA AGAINST SKIN CARCINOGENESIS”. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, Vol. 13, no. 12, Dec. 2020, pp. 84-88, doi:10.22159/ajpcr.2020.v13i12.39842.
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