Views: 5 Author: Golden Horizon Biologics Publish Time: 2016-09-13 Origin: Golden Horizon Biologics
Chinese Medicine has been used for thousands of years to treat a number of diseases, but with few exceptions, has not been linked to specific molecular mechanisms that might explain its mode of action. This is because the Chinese Medicine formulations are often combinations of multiple plant extracts and are thus complex molecular mixtures. Fractionation of these extracts to test individual components often demonstrates low or no activity for individual components of these mixtures.
We decided to use a Systems Biology approach to investigate a well characterized, injectable extract from two plants that has been commonly used in conjunction with Western chemotherapy to treat cancer patients in China. We do not fractionate the mixture, but test it “as is” in order to determine the molecular consequences of the complex mixture. We limited this study to a specific breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) in order to determine if this preparation, Compound Kushen Injection (CKI), can directly affect cancer cells.
We found that CKI can kill MCF-7 cells and can also alter gene expression patterns associated with cell cycle control and cell death. The gene expression networks/pathways altered by CKI are similar to those altered by the Western chemotherapeutic drug 5-Fluorouracil (5FU), but the specific genes in those pathways with expression altered by CKI are often different to those affected by 5FU.