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Aims: In the presence of oxygen, most of the synthesized pyruvate during glycolysis in the cancer cell of solid tumors is released away from the mitochondria to form lactate (Warburg Effect). To maintain cell homeostasis, lactate is transported across the cell membrane by monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). The major aim of the current investigation is to identify novel compounds that inhibit lactate efflux that may lead to identifying effective targets for cancer treatment.
Study Design: In this study, 900 ethanol plant extracts were screened for their lactate efflux inhibition using neuroblastoma (N2-A) cell line. Additionally, we investigated the mechanism of inhibition for the most potent plant extract regarding monocarboxylate transporters expression, and consequences effects on viability, growth, and apoptosis.
Methodology: The potency of lactate efflux inhibition of ethanol plant extracts was evaluated in N2-A cells by measuring extracellular lactate levels. Caspase 3- activity and acridine orange/ethidium bromide staining were performed to assess the apoptotic effect. The antiproliferative effect was measured using WST assay. Western blotting was performed to quantify protein expression of MCTs and their chaperone CD147 in treated cells lysates.
Results: Terminalia chebula plant extract was the most potent lactate efflux inhibitor in N2-A cells among the 900 - tested plant extracts. The results obtained show that extract of Terminalia chebula fruits (TCE) significantly (P = 0.05) reduced the expression of the MCT1, MCT3, MCT4 and the chaperone CD147. The plant extract was more potent (IC50 of 3.59±0.26 µg/ml) than the MCT standard inhibitor phloretin (IC50 76.54±3.19 µg/ml). The extract also showed more potency and selective cytotoxicity in cancer cells than DI-TNC1 primary cell line (IC50 7.37±0.28 vs. 17.35±0.19 µg/ml). Moreover, TCE Inhibited N2-A cell growth (IG50 = 5.20±0.30 µg/ml) and induced apoptosis at the 7.5 µg/ml concentration.
Conclusion: Out of the 900 plant extracts screened, Terminalia chebula ethanol extract was found to be the most potent lactate efflux inhibitor with the ability to inhibit chaperone CD147 expression and impact the function of monocarboxylate transporters. Furthermore, TCE was found to have growth inhibition and apoptotic effects. The results obtained indicate that Terminalia chebula constituent(s) may contain promising compounds that can be useful in the management of neuroblastoma cancer.