Role of Rubia tinctorum in the synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles and apoptosis induction in breast cancer cell line

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biology, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran

2 Medical Toxicology Research Center, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


Objective(s): Nowadays, nanotechnology has offered great success in resolving concerns in cancer therapy and created a new interdisciplinary field of study incorporating various sciences, such as biology, chemistry and medicine. Apoptosis is a conserved and controlled strategy in regulating cellular growth and proliferation, as well as preserving development and general homeostasis of the body. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) are the most important and widely used nanoparticles. This study aimed to evaluate the apoptosis-inducing properties of the synthesized ZnO-NPs by aqueous extract of Rubia tinctorum against the MCF7 breast cancer cell line.
Materials and Methods: Zinc oxide nanoparticles were synthesized using Rubia tinctorum extract and characterized by some methods including dynamic light scattering (DLS), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and x-ray diffraction analysis (XRD). Apoptosis was measured by the Hoechst and Acridine-Orange/Propodium Iodide staining, as well as flow cytometry.
Results: The results of this study showed that the particle size of biosynthesized ZnO-NPs using R.tinctorum extract was about 40 nm and had a spherical morphology. The obtain results of the Hoechst and Acridine-Orange/Propodium Iodide staining, as well as flow cytometry showed that biosynthesized ZnO-NPs effectively and dose-dependently induced apoptosis in the MCF7 breast cancer cells.
Conclusion: Therefore, the biosynthesized ZnO-NPs by watery extract of R. tinctorum can be used in the treatment of many diseases, including cancers.


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