Pro-Apoptotic and Anti-Cancer Activity of the Vernonanthura Nudiflora Hydroethanolic Extract

Almog Nadir, Anna Shteinfer-Kuzmine, Swaroop Kumar Pandey, Juan Ortas, Daniel Kerekes, Varda Shoshan-Barmatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) protein is involved in several essential cancer hallmarks, including energy and metabolism reprogramming and apoptotic cell death evasion. In this study, we demonstrated the ability of hydroethanolic extracts from three different plants, Vernonanthura nudiflora (Vern), Baccharis trimera (Bac), and Plantago major (Pla), to induce cell death. We focused on the most active Vern extract. We demonstrated that it activates multiple pathways that lead to impaired cell energy and metabolism homeostasis, elevated ROS production, increased intracellular Ca2+, and mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. The massive cell death generated by this plant extract’s active compounds involves the induction of VDAC1 overexpression and oligomerization and, thereby, apoptosis. Gas chromatography of the hydroethanolic plant extract identified dozens of compounds, including phytol and ethyl linoleate, with the former producing similar effects as the Vern hydroethanolic extract but at 10-fold higher concentrations than those found in the extract. In a xenograft glioblastoma mouse model, both the Vern extract and phytol strongly inhibited tumor growth and cell proliferation and induced massive tumor cell death, including of cancer stem cells, inhibiting angiogenesis and modulating the tumor microenvironment. Taken together, the multiple effects of Vern extract make it a promising potential cancer therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1627
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • VDAC1
  • apoptosis
  • cancer
  • metabolism
  • mitochondria
  • plant extract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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