Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) constitutes a predominant part of primary liver cancer which ranks as the fifth most common cancer as well as the third most common cause of cancer mortality. In view of the poor prognosis of unresectable liver cancers, it is of pivotal importance to develop novel chemotherapeutical regimens. RNase MC2 is a 14-kDa ribonuclease isolated from dietary bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) that manifested antitumor potential against breast cancers. In this study, we investigated the potential application of RNase MC2 on Hep G2 cells. We showed that RNase MC2 inhibited cell proliferation and induced cell apoptosis in both in vitro and in vivo studies. RNase MC2 treatment caused cell cycle arrest predominantly at the S-phase and apoptosis, which is associated with the activation of both caspase-8 and caspase-9 regulated caspase pathways. Our further investigation disclosed that RNase MC2 down-regulated the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and increased the expression of pro-apoptotic protein Bak. Moreover, the phosphorylation of ERK and JNK was involved in the apoptosis process. Importantly, RNase MC2 significantly suppressed the growth of Hep G2 xenograft-bearing nude mice by inducing apoptosis. This notion is supported by data indicating an increased number of caspase-3- and PARP-positive cells, and TUNEL-positive cells in RNase MC2-treated tumor tissues. In summary, we have revealed the antitumor potential of RNase MC2 toward Hep G2 cells. Considering that bitter gourd is a common dietary component in many countries, this study may help to prompt the clinical application of RNase MC2.
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Ethnomedicinal survey was conducted for selection of anti-diabetic plant. Structured questionnaire was developed for calculation of Disease Consensus Index and administered to fifty Type 2 diabetic patients for recording their response.
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Momordica charantia trypsin inhibitor II (MCTI-II) inhibits the amidolytic activity of factor Xa with a K(i) value 10-100-fold smaller than those of other squash family inhibitors. It also inhibits factor X activation mediated by factor VIIa-tissue factor complex or factor IXa. Comparison of other squash family inhibitors reveal Trp at position 7 (P(2)') and a deletion at position 25 (P(20)') are characteristics of MCTI-II. In order to elucidate the effect of these positions on the inhibitory activity, we chemically synthesized three inhibitors: S-MCTI-II whose amino acid sequence is identical to natural MCTI-II, S-MCTI-II(7L) whose P(2)'(Trp) is substituted with Leu, and S-MCTI-II(25N) whose P(20)'(deletion) is filled with Asn. The dissociation constants of the complexes of human factor Xa with S-MCTI-II, S-MCTI-II(7L), and S-MCTI-II(25N) were 1.3x10(-6) M, 2.8x10(-5) M, and 7.3x10(-6) M, respectively. They inhibited factor X activation mediated by factor VIIa with the same degree. As in the case of natural MCTI-II, S-MCTI-II suppressed factor X activation mediated by factor IXa, while S-MCTI-II(7L) and S-MCTI-II(25N) did not. Both the Trp at the P(2)' position and deletion at the P(20)' position are thus likely required for the inhibition of factor Xa, trypsin, and factor IXa, while these two positions do not affect factor X activation initiated by the factor VIIa-tissue factor complex.
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A steady weight increase disproportionate to height is by far the most prevalent type of body weight imbalance (overweight and obesity) in apparently healthy individuals of growing age. Many subsisting weight-reduction regimes or formulations are ineffective. Therefore, an effective and affordable weight-reduction product will add to the options available for the management of weight-related conditions.
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) is a common tropical vegetable that has been used in traditional or folk medicine to treat diabetes. Wild bitter gourd (WBG) ameliorated metabolic syndrome (MetS) in animal models. We aimed to preliminarily evaluate the effect of WBG supplementation on MetS in Taiwanese adults.
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This is a 4-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, active-control trial. Patients were randomized into 4 groups to receive bitter melon 500 mg/day, 1,000 mg/day, and 2,000 mg/day or metformin 1,000 mg/day. All patients were followed for 4 weeks.
Napin and napin-like proteins belong to the 2S albumin seed storage family of proteins and have been shown to display a variety of biological activities. However, due to a high degree of polymorphism, purification of a single napin or napin-like protein exhibiting biological activity is extremely difficult. In the present study, we have produced the napin-like protein of Momordica charantia using the methylotrophic Pichia pastoris expression system. The recombinant napin-like protein (rMcnapin) secreted in the extracellular culture supernatant was enriched by ammonium sulfate precipitation, and purified using size exclusion chromatography at a yield of ∼290 mg/L of culture. Secondary structure analysis of the purified rMcnapin revealed it to be predominantly α-helical with minimal β strand content. CD spectroscopic and fluorescence spectroscopic analyses revealed the rMcnapin to be stable at a wide range of temperatures and pH. The rMcnapin exhibited antifungal activity against Trichoderma viride with an IC50 of ∼3.7 μg/ml and trypsin inhibitor activity with an IC50 of 4.2 μM. Thus, large amounts of homogenous preparations of the biologically active rMcnapin could be obtained at shake flask level, which is otherwise difficult from its natural source.
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Despite a marked recent increase in the number of publications on indigenous medicinal plants and dietary supplements, Africa lags behind Europe and Asia in terms of the number of products that have been commercialised and the percentage of the flora that is utilized for international trade. There is a tremendous potential for developing new crops and new products but much work remains to be done to generate more focussed and relevant pre-clinical data and convincing proof of concept through clinical studies.
CLnA isomers normalized cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol and triglyceride contents in plasma and body weight of experimental rats and decreased cholesterol synthesis by reducing hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity. Administration of Sa caused alteration in erythrocyte membrane fluidity due to increase in cholesterol and decrease in phospholipid content. Tissue cholesterol and lipid contents were also increased by Sa administration. These altered parameters were reversed by experimental oil administration. Protective effect of CLnA isomers on erythrocyte morphology was observed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Fatty acid composition of erythrocyte membrane showed decrease in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and increase in arachidonic acid content after Sa administration, which was normalized with the treatment of these oils. Supplementation of CLnA isomers restored erythrocyte membrane (EM) lipid peroxidation and lipoprotein oxidation.
Administration of up to 4000 mg/kg did not have any effect on the mice kidney function and histology, however chronic administration were nephrotoxic. More studies with different dosage regimens are suggested.
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In this report we describe the purification and characterization of a cytostatic factor from the bitter melon (Momordica charantia). As determined by gel filtration and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), this purified factor is a single component with an apparent molecular weight of 11,000. The factor is not sensitive to boiling or to pretreatments with trypsin, ribonuclease (RNAse), or deoxyribonuclease (DNAse). As determined by radioactive precursor uptake studies, the purified factor preferentially inhibits RNA synthesis in intact tissue culture cells. Some inhibition of protein synthesis and DNA synthesis also occurs. The factor is preferentially cytostatic for IM9 human leukemic lymphocytes when compared to normal human peripheral blood lymphocytes.