Elaeagnus Angustifolia extract inhabits cell invasion of human colorectal cancer cells and increases the survival rate of the Drosophila colon cancer model
Colorectal cancer (CRC), the third most common type of cancer in the world, is an aggressive type of cancer with high tendency to metastasize and invade to other tissues and distant organs. Traditional CRC treatment regimen includes 5-fluorouracil (5-FU); however, tumors develop a resistance against these drugs, apart from the severe side effects that develop upon these therapies. Nowadays, traditional medicinal plants are the focus of increased interest as a source for new potential drugs, particularly those that serve as anti-cancerous agents. Elaeagnus angustifolia (EA) is a medicinal plant that can be used traditionally to manage several human ailments including cancers especially oral and HER2-positive breast cancer as recently reported by our group. However, the effect of EA flower extract on human CRC has not been investigated yet. Therefore, EA effect was explored in vitro using KRAS CRC cell lines (HCT-116 and LoVo) and in vivo using transgenic Drosophila melanogaster model for KRAS gene, which is known to develop CRC. Our results from the in vitro investigations revealed that EA flower extract significantly inhibits cell motility and invasion in addition to colony formation. Moreover, we found that EA extract modulates the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) event and its related genes; EMT is a known hallmark of cancer invasion and metastasis. More significantly, our in vivo data pointed out that EA extract increases the survival rate of KRAS mutation D. melanogaster model. Our findings implicate that EA extract may possess chemo-preventive effects against human CRC.