Withaferin A (WA) is derived from the medical plant Withania somnifera (commonly known as ashwagandha or Indian winter cherry), which has been safely used for centuries in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of different ailments. Suppression of angiogenesis, alteration of cytoskeletal architecture, and inhibition of proteasomal activity by WA has also been documented.
What does Withaferin A do?
- Cardio protection from ischemia and reperfusion injury
- Protection of 6-hydroxydopamine-induced Parkinsonism in rats
- Antibacterial effects
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Shown to be a radiosensitizer and suppressor of mouse Ehrlich ascites carcinoma growth
- Recent studies have shown that WA suppresses growth of human cancer cells by apoptosis
- WA test results indicate treatment caused an increase in the levels of both proapoptotic (Bak, Bax, and Bim) and antiapoptotic (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and Mcl-1) Bcl-2 family proteins in human breast cancer cells.
- WA administration decreased cell proliferation and increased apoptosis in tumors.
- WA exhibits significant growth inhibitory effect against MCF-7(estrogen-responsive) and MDA-MB-231 (estrogen-dependent)human breast cancer cell lines in association with apoptosis induction.
- Withaferin A decreased survival of cultured human breast cancer cells. Results indicate that WA suppressed survival of human breast cancer cells regardless of their estrogen responsiveness or p53 status.