Mammospheres are breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) that could be yielded through culturing cells in non-adherent and non-differentiating condition. With regard to therapy resistance of cancer stem cells (CSCs), it is essential to discover efficient approaches targeting CSCs. Viola odorata extract has been considered as a traditional herbal anti-metastatic drug in several cancer cells. Effect of this drug on BCSCs has not been clearly identified. Current study tries to detect and to compare effect of Viola odorata extract on malignant characterization of breast cancer cell lines and BCSCs.
Materials and methods
MCF7 and SKBR3 and their derived mammospheres as BCSCs were used and the effect of alcoholic extraction of Viola odorata on apoptosis and malignant characters of MCF7, SKBR3 and their derived BCSCs were analyzed and compared.
Viola odorata extract induced cell death in MCF7, SKBR3 and their derived mammospheres through apoptosis without any effects on MCF10A. Also, this extract showed anti-migratory, anti-invasion and anti-colony formation activity in MCF7, SKBR3 and their derived mammospheres which was significantly more in MCF7- and SKBR3-derived mammospheres. Also, this extract decreased size and volume of tumors generated by MCF7, SKBR3 and their derived mammospheres in chicken embryo model.
Viola odorata extract exerted anti-cancerous activity on both breast cancer cell lines and their derived BCSCs. Anti-cancerous activity of this extract was significantly more in MCF7-, SKBR3-derived mammospheres in comparison with dedicated cell lines. Data suggest that Viola odorata extract mostly targets cancerous cells, not normal cells with exception in high concentration. It acts in a cell-dependent manner.
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Basic fibroblast growth factor
Breast cancer stem cells
Cancer stem cells
Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium/F12
Epidermal growth factor
Fetal bovine serum
- H&E staining:
Hematoxylin and eosin staining
High-performance liquid chromatography
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2
50% Inhibitory concentration
Oral squamous cell carcinoma
Poly ADP ribose polymerase
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We thank our great colleague Mr. Abbas Kiani Esfahani for his technical assistance on flow cytometry. Also, we thank Goldaru Company, for the gift-giving alcoholic Viola odorata extract.
This project was supported by the Goldaru company to approve the anti-cancerous effects of Viola odorata extract. This project was funded by a grant-in-aid of research from Iran National Science Foundation (Award no. 93021399) to K. G., as the Principal Investigator.
Conflict of interest
No conflict of interest.
Research involving human participants and/or animals
The permission to use chicken embryo based on the standard protocols was obtained by Ethics Committee of Royan Institute (The permission to use chick embryo based on the standard protocols was obtained by Ethics Committee of Royan Institute (Project no. IR ACECR ROYAN REC IR ACECR ROYAN REC).
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Yousefnia, S., Naseri, D., Seyed Forootan, F. et al. Suppressive role of Viola odorata extract on malignant characters of mammosphere-derived breast cancer stem cells . Clin Transl Oncol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12094-020-02307-9
- Breast cancer stem cell (BCSC)
- Viola odorata