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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 12, 2020

Antiproliferative effects of combinational therapy of Lycopodium clavatum and quercetin in colon cancer cells

  • Antara Banerjee ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Surajit Pathak , Ganesan Jothimani and Susmita Roy



Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most prevalent form of cancer and fourth leading cause of morbidity worldwide. Surgical resection remains the only curative approach for CRC, but recurrence following surgery is the main problem and ultimate cause of death. Lycopodium clavatum and quercetin have been found to exert its anticancer properties. The aim of the present study is to investigate whether quercetin or L. clavatum extract and combination of both have any profound role in reducing major inflammatory cytokines in Colo-320 cells.


L. clavatum and Quercetin alone or in combination was administered to colon cancer cells and various toxicity markers, gene expression analyses of apototic genes and gelatin zymmography were performed.


Quercetin (50 μm) in combination with L. clavatum extract (10 μL) distinctly reduced cell growth and highlighted their potential effects in extirpation of colon cancer cells. Treatment with increased dose of L. clavatum extract in combination with quercetin reduced the colony size and proliferation potential when compared to the sole treatment of plant extracts. In the antimicrobial assays, it was observed that Lycopodium alone exhibited antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Characterization of L. clavatum extract and quercetin was performed and confirmed the presence of flavonoids and alkaloids. Treatment with Lycopodium and quercetin combination induced significant down-regulation in activities of MMP2 and MMP9 tested by gelatin zymography. The combined treatment greatly affected the mRNA expression of p53, Bcl2, Bax, Caspase 3, Wnt 1, Cyclin D1, and Catalase genes in colon cancer cells.


The synergistic effect between Lycopodium and quercetin might bring forward the enhanced antitumorigenic properties of combinational therapy with natural products to successfully combat the cancer progression with minimal side effects and resistance to drugs.


The authors are thankful to Chettinad Academy of Research and Education for providing the infrastructural support.

  1. Author contributions: AB designed the study, carried all the experiment with analysis, performed the statistical analysis and wrote the manuscript. SP and GJ carried out the gene expression studies. AB contributed to the interpretation of result and reviewed the manuscript. SP, GJ ans SR reviewed the manuscript. All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  2. Research funding: The works were carried out with funds (departmental grant) sanctioned to Dr. Antara Banerjee from Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai, and partly from funds sanctioned to Dr. Antara Banerjee (PI), from SERB-DST Govt. of India with the sanction file no ECR/2017/001066.

  3. Competing interests: All the authors certify that none of the authors has any commercial association that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the publication of the submitted article.

  4. Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.

  5. Ethical approval: Research involving human subjects complied with all relevant national regulations, institutional policies and is in accordance with the tenets of the Helsinki Declaration (as revised in 2013), and has been approved by the authors’ institutional review board (xxxx) or equivalent committee. (xxx-Nr.: xx/x). / Research involving animals complied with all relevant national regulations and institutional policies (xxxx) for the care and use of animals. (xxx-Nr.: xx/x). / The local Institutional Review Board deemed the study exempt from review.


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Received: 2019-07-13
Accepted: 2019-12-23
Published Online: 2020-05-12

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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