Cytotoxic Activity, Cell Migration and Apoptosis Effects of Uncaria nervosa Elmer Leaf Fractions on MCF-7 HER 2 Cells


  • Noveri Rahmawati Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Andalas, Padang, Indonesia
  • Nor H. Ismail Faculty of Applied Sciences, University Teknologi Mara, Malaysia
  • Fatma S. Wahyuni Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Andalas, Padang, Indonesia
  • Dachriyanus Hamidi Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Andalas, Padang, Indonesia



double staining assay, scratch wound healing assay, MTT assay, Uncaria nervosa Elmer


Uncaria nervosa Elmer is a medicinal plant distributed in Indonesia, New Guinea and the Western Pacific. Traditionally, this plant is used for cancer treatment. This study aims to determine the cytotoxic activity, cell migration and apoptosis of n-hexane, ethyl acetate and butanol fractions in MCF-7 HER 2 breast cancer cells. The ethanol extract of U. nervosa Elmer leaves was fractionated using a separating funnel. Fractionation used solvents with varying polarities, n-hexane, ethyl acetate and butanol. The three fractions were tested for their cytotoxic activity by the MTT assay method. The concentrations of the fractions were 100, 10 and 1 µg/ml. The effect of inhibiting cell migration on the fractions using the scratch wound healing assay was observed at 0, 24 and 48 hours and the apoptosis effect was observed using the double staining assay at 48 hours. The results showed that n-hexane and ethyl acetate fractions had IC50 values31,44 and 16,422 µg/ml, respectively and the butanol fraction had no activity on MCF-7 HER 2cells at a concentration of 100 µg/ml. Wound healing assays explained the potency of fraction to decrease the cell migration after 24 hours. Apoptosis effect of the fraction of the double staining test results showed MCF-7 HER 2 cells experiencing yellow and orange fluorescence. The n-hexane and ethyl acetate fractions having moderate and strong cytotoxic activity and were able to inhibit cell migration as well as caused death of MCF-7 HER 2 breast cancer cells by apoptosis.

Author Biography

Noveri Rahmawati, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Andalas, Padang, Indonesia

Muhammadiyah University of Riau, Indonesia and Doctoral Program, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Andalas,Padang,Indonesia


Smolarz B, Zadrożna Nowak A, Romanowicz H. Breast cancer—epidemiology, classification, pathogenesis and treatment (review of literature). Cancers (Basel). 2022;14(10):1–27.

Sung H, Ferlay J, Siegel RL, Laversanne M, Soerjomataram I, Jemal A, Bray F. Global cancer statistics 2020: Globocanestimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin. 2021;71(3):209–49.

Hadisaputri YE, Habibah U, Abdullah FF, Halimah E, Mutakin M, Megantara S, Abdullah R, Diantini A. Antiproliferation activity and apoptotic mechanism of soursop (Annona muricata l.) leaves extract and fractions on MCF7 breast cancer cells. J Breast Cancer Targets Ther. 2021;13:447–57.

Pranoto D, Ratnawati H, Wargasetia TL, Octavallen A, Rachmat MAA. Sea cucumber reduces breast cancer tumor size through inhibition of MMP9 dependent HER2 expression in breast cancer mice model. Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2023;7(9):4010–5.

Asian Plant. Uncaria nervosa [Internet].2022 [cited 2023 Jan 8]. Available from:

Syarifah S, Widyawati T, Rita Anggraini D, Sari Wahyuni A, Indah Sari M. Anticancer activity of Uncaria gambirRoxb on T47D breast cancer cells. J Phys Conf Ser. 2019;1317(1):1-5.

Sakti AS, Saputri FC, Munim A. Microscopic characters, phytochemical screening focus on alkaloid and total phenolic content of Uncaria gambir Roxb. and Uncaria sclerophylla Roxb. Leaves. Pharmacogn J. 2019;11(1):119–23.

Zari A, Alfarteesh H, Buckner C, Lafrenie R. Treatment with Uncaria tomentosa promotes apoptosis in b16-bl6 mouse melanoma cells and inhibits the growth of b16-bl6 tumours. Molecules. 2021;26(4):1066-1087.

Navarro M, Arnaez E, Moreira I, Hurtado A, Monge D, Monagas M. Polyphenolic composition and antioxidant activity of Uncaria tomentosa commercial bark products. Antioxidants. 2019;8(9):339-358.

Nwe TL, Shwe HH, Kyu KK. Isolation and structural assignment of β-Sitosterol compound from the whole plant of Uncaria macrophylla Wall. J IEEE-SEM. 2019;7(7):244–9.

Song MF, Guan YH, Li HT, Wei SG, Zhang LX, Zhang ZL, Ma XJ. The effects of genetic variation and environmental factors on rhynchophylline and isorhynchophylline in Uncaria macrophyllaWall. from different populations in China. J Pone. 2018;13(6):1–10.

Zhang Z long, Li Y ze, Wu G qing, Li YM, Zhang D dong, Wang R. A comprehensive review of phytochemistry, pharmacology and clinical applications of Uncariaeramulus Cum Uncis. Arab J Chem. 2023;16(5):1-49.

Rahmawati N, Ismail NH, Hamidi D, Wahyuni FS. Cytotoxic activity screening of various Uncaria Spp plants on T47Dbreast cancer cells. Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2023;7(1):2218–21.

Cho MH, Byoung I J, Rajasekar S, Kang HM, Park SY, Choi YW. In vitro anticancer activity of hexane and ethyl acetate extracts of leaf, petiole and rhizome of Petasitesjaponicus. Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2023;7(1):2213–7.

Eden WT, Rakainsa SK, Widhihastuti E. Antioxidant and anticancer activity of Opuntia elatior Mill. ethanol extract and the fractions. Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2023;7(12):5558–65.

Lin CM, Lin YT, Lee TL, Imtiyaz Z, Hou WC, Lee MH. In vitro and in vivo evaluation of the neuroprotective activity of Uncaria hirsuta Haviland. J Food Drug Anal. 2020;28(1):147–58.

Kośmider A, Czepielewska E, Kuraś M, Gulewicz K, Pietrzak W, Nowak R, Nowicka G. Uncaria tomentosa leaves decoction modulates differently ROS production in cancer and normal cells, and effects cisplatin cytotoxicity. Molecules. 2017;22(4):620-634.

Bolla SR, Mohammed Al-Subaie A, Yousuf Al-Jindan R, Papayya Balakrishna J, Kanchi Ravi P, Veeraraghavan VP, Pillai AA, Gollapalli SSR,Joseph JP,Surapaneni KM. In vitro wound healing potency of methanolic leaf extract of Aristolochia saccata is possibly mediated by its stimulatory effect on collagen-1 expression. Heliyon. 2019;5(5):e01648-1655.

Harahap U, Hasibuan PAZ, Sitorus P, Arfian N, Satria D. Antimigration activity of an ethylacetate fraction of Zanthoxylum acanthopodium DC. fruits in 4T1 breast cancer cells. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev. 2018;19(2):565–9.

Juneja K, Mishra R, Chauhan S, Gupta S, Roy P, Sircar D. Metabolite profiling and wound-healing activity of Boerhavia diffusa leaf extracts using in vitro and in vivo models. J Tradit Complement Med. 2020;10(1):52–9.

Lee H, Baek SH, Lee JH, Kim C, Ko JH, Lee SG, Chinnathambi A, Alharbi SA, Yang WM, Um JY, Sethi G, Ahn KS. Isorhynchophylline, a potent plant alkaloid, induces apoptotic and anti-metastatic effects in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells through the modulation of diverse cell signaling cascades. Int J Mol Sci. 2017;18(5):1095-1111.

Wattayagorn V, Kongsema M, Tadakittisarn S, Chumnanpuen P. Riceberry rice bran protein hydrolyzed fractions induced apoptosis, senescence and G1/S cell cycle arrest in human colon cancer cell lines. Appl Sci. 2022;12(14):1–18.

Younis NS, Abduldaium MS, Mohamed ME. Protective effect of Geraniol on oxidative, inflammatory and apoptotic alterations in isoproterenol-induced cardiotoxicity: Role of the keap1/Nrf2/HO-1 and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways. Antioxidants. 2020;9(10):1–17.

Yuliastri WO, Diantini A, Ghozali M, Sahidin I, Isrul M. Phytochemical constituent and in-vitro cytotoxic activityofHibiscus sabdariffa L. calyx fraction on humanbreast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. Rasayan J Chem. 2022;15(3):1619–25.

Sulistiarini R, Soemardji AA, Elfahmi, Iwo MI. The potency of the genus Uncaria from East Borneo for herbal medicine purposes: A mini-review. J Trop Pharm Chem.2020;8(2):167-174.

Basim S, Kasim AA. Cytotoxic activity of the ethyl acetate extract of Iraqi Caricapapayaleaves in breast and lung cancer lell Lines. Asian Pacific J Cancer Prev. 2023;24(2):581–6.

Putri TP, Dewi IATK, Permata TBM, Nuryadi E, Kodrat H, Wibowo H, Louisa M, Gondhowiardjo SA. A mini systematic review: Eucheuma cottonii, a red algae, as a radiosensitizer. Trop J Nat Prod Res. 2021;5(1):7–15.

Boontha S, Thoedyotin T, Saengtabtim T, Imerb P, Chaniad N, Buranrat B, Pitaksuteepong T. Cytotoxic, colony formation and anti-migratory effects of Spilanthes acmella (asteraceae) aerial extract on MCF-7 cells and its cream formulation. Trop J Pharm Res. 2020;19(1):17–24.

Balko S, Kerr E, Buchel E, Logsetty S, Raouf A. A sobust and Standardized approach to quantify wound closure using the scratch assay. Methods Protoc. 2023;6(5):87-93.

Kushida H, Matsumoto T, Ikarashi Y. Properties, pharmacology, and pharmacokinetics of active indole and oxindole alkaloids in Uncaria Hook. J FrontPharmacol. 2021;12:1-18




How to Cite

Rahmawati, N., Ismail, N. H., Wahyuni, F. S., & Hamidi, D. (2024). Cytotoxic Activity, Cell Migration and Apoptosis Effects of Uncaria nervosa Elmer Leaf Fractions on MCF-7 HER 2 Cells. Tropical Journal of Natural Product Research (TJNPR), 8(6), 7494–7498.

Most read articles by the same author(s)