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Wellington, Florida, United States

Lowe H.I.,Biotech R&D Institute | Toyang N.J.,Educational and Scientific Corporation | Bryant J.,University of Maryland Baltimore County
The West Indian medical journal | Year: 2013

Tillandsia recurvata, also commonly known as Ball Moss, is endemic to Jamaica and some parts of the Caribbean and South America. The plant, despite being reported to be used in folk medicine, had not previously been evaluated for its anti-cancer potential. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-cancer activity ofBall Moss. The anti-proliferation activity of the crude methanolic extract of the T recurvata was evaluated in vitro in five different histogenic cancer cell lines (prostate cancer - PC-3, breast cancer Kaposi sarcoma, B-16 melanoma and a B-cell lymphoma from a transgenic mouse strain) using the trypan blue assay. The crude extract was also evaluated in vivo in tumour-bearing mice. Immunohistochemistry staining with Apoptag was used for histology and determination of apoptosis. The crude methanolic extract of T recurvata demonstrated anti-proliferation activity against all the cell lines, killing > 50% of the cells at a concentration of 2.5 microg/ml. Kaposi sarcoma xenograft tumours were inhibited by up to 75% compared to control in the in vivo study (p < 0.05). There was evidence of DNA fragmentation and a decrease in cell viability on histological studies. The methanolic extract showed no toxic effect in the mice at a dose of 200 mg/kg. Our data suggest that T recurvata has great potential as an anti-cancer agent and that one of its mechanisms of cell kill and tumour inhibition is by the induction of apoptosis.

Lowe H.I.C.,Bio Technology R and D Institute | Lowe H.I.C.,Educational and Scientific Corporation | Lowe H.I.C.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Watson C.T.,Bio Technology R and D Institute | And 6 more authors.
Anticancer Research | Year: 2012

Background: This research was undertaken in order to investigate the inhibitory potential of the Jamaican ball moss, Tillandsia recurvata against several kinases. The inhibition of these kinases has emerged as a potential solution to restoring the tight regulation of normal cellular growth, the loss of which leads to cancer cell formation. Materials and Methods: Kinase inhibition was investigated using competition binding (to the ATP sites) assays, which have been previously established and authenticated. Results: Four hundred and fifty one kinases were tested against the Jamaican ball moss extract and a dose-response was tested on 40 kinases, which were inhibited by more than 35% compared to the control. Out of the 40 kinases, the Jamaican ball moss selectively inhibited 5 (CSNK2A2, MEK5, GAK, FLT and DRAK1) and obtained Kd 50s were below 20 μg/ml. Conclusion: Since MEK5 and GAK kinases have been associated with aggressive prostate cancer, the inhibitory properties of the ball moss against them, coupled with its previously found bioactivity towards the PC-3 cell line, makes it promising in the arena of drug discovery towards prostate cancer.

Lowe H.I.C.,Bio Technology RandD Institute | Lowe H.I.C.,Educational and Scientific Corporation | Lowe H.I.C.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Lowe H.I.C.,University of Technology, Jamaica | And 5 more authors.
Anticancer Research | Year: 2014

Background/Aim: The Jamaican "Guinea Hen Weed" (Petiveria alliacea L.) plant has been traditionally used in folklore medicine to treat a variety of diseases including cancer. In the present study we investigated on the therapeutic feasibility of dibenzyl trisulfide (DTS) (isolated from the Jamaican Guinea Hen Weed) as a potent smallmolecule kinase inhibitor to treat cancer. Materials and Methods: We investigated the inhibitory effects of DTS against a large panel of kinases using a well-established competitive binding assay. Cell proliferation data were obtained using the WST-1 colorimetric assay. Results: DTS inhibited the activity of the C-terminal kinase domain of RSK1 (80% compared to control) with a Kd of 1.3 μM. Antiproliferative effects of DTS were observed in small lung, pancreatic, breast, and prostate cancer cells with IC50 values ranging from 0.34-0.84 μM. Conclusion: We have identified DTS as a highly selective and isoform-specific RSK1 kinase inhibitor with broad cancer therapeutic potential.

Lowe H.I.C.,Bio Technology R and D Institute | Lowe H.I.C.,Educational and Scientific Corporation | Lowe H.I.C.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Toyang N.J.,Educational and Scientific Corporation | And 5 more authors.
Anticancer Research | Year: 2014

Background: Approximately 250,000 deaths were caused by leukemia globally in 2012 and about 40%-50% of all leukemia diagnoses end-up in death. Medicinal plants are a rich source for the discovery of new drugs against leukemia and other types of cancers. To this end, we subjected the Jamaican ball moss (Tillandsia recurvata) and its cycloartanes, as well as some analogs, to in vitro screening against a number of leukemia cell lines. The WST-1 anti-proliferation assay was used to determine the anticancer activity of ball moss and two cycloartanes isolated from ball moss and four of their analogs against four leukemia cell lines (HL-60, K562, MOLM-14, monoMac6). Ball moss crude methanolic extract showed activity with a 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) value of 3.028 μg/ml against the Molm-14 cell line but was ineffective against HL-60 cells. The six cycloartanes tested demonstrated varying activity against the four leukemia cancer cell lines with IC50 values ranging from 1.83 μM to 18.3 μM. Five out of the six cycloartanes demonstrated activity, while one was inactive against all four cell lines. The preliminary activity demonstrated by the Jamaican ball moss and its cycloartanes against selected leukemia cell lines continues to throw light on the broad anticancer activity of ball moss. Further studies to evaluate the efficacy of these molecules in other leukemia cell lines are required in order to validate the activity of these molecules, as well as to determine their mechanisms of action and ascertain the activity in vivo in order to establish efficacy and safety profiles.

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