‘Unassuming’ Non-medicinal Plant Can Stop Growth of Breast Cancer Cells, Study Shows

‘Unassuming’ Non-medicinal Plant Can Stop Growth of Breast Cancer Cells, Study Shows
Scientists have discovered that an unassuming non-medicinal plant can stop the growth of human breast cancer cells without affecting non-cancerous cells. Their research into Arabidopsis thaliana, a small annual flowering plant in the mustard family, could lead to potential new treatments for breast cancer and other diseases. The study, “Jasmonates induce Arabidopsis bioactivities selectively inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cells through CDC6 and mTOR,” was published in the journal New Phytologist. "The plant is very much like the 'Cinderella' of the medicinal plant world — no one thought it was so special, but it has shown its true colors via our research," Alessandra Devoto, PhD, researcher at Royal Holloway, University of London, and author of the study, said in a press release. "The discovery has important implications in developing treatments for cancer as well as other diseases." Plants produce several small molecules that are commonly used as pharmaceuticals, insecticides, or fragrances which hold commercial applications due to their use in defence against biological challenges. Researchers have now investigated the effect of Arabidopsis thaliana — a model commonly used to study the growth and development processes in plants — in both human breast cancer cells and normal (non-tumorigenic) mammary cells. They began by evaluating the effect of methyljasmonate, which is a derivative of jasmonate — a hormone discovered in jasmine that boosts plant responses to stress — in different cell types. Methyljasmonate was able to inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells while not affecting normal cells. To understand if this inhibitory effect on tumor cell growth could be the result of a synergistic effect between jasmonates and o
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