3 Biotech

, 9:428 | Cite as

Evaluation of the combinatorial effect of Tinospora cordifolia and Zingiber officinale on human breast cancer cells

  • Gitanjali Javir
  • Kalpana JoshiEmail author
Original Article


The present study was aimed to investigate the anticancer potential of the combination treatment of Tinospora cordifolia (TC) and Zingiber officinale (ZO) using network pharmacology approach. In silico analysis of the anticancer activity of TC + ZO was carried out using Cytoscape 3.2.0 software to elucidate the mechanism. The MTT assay confirms the combination of TC and ZO is more active (IC50; 2 μg ml−1) as compared to TC (509 μg ml−1) and ZO (1 mg ml−1) alone in MCF-7 cells. The TC + ZO combination treatment inhibits DNA synthesis, migration, and induces apoptosis in MCF-7 cells as compared to TC and ZO alone at a concentration of 1 µg ml−1. TC + ZO combination treatment arrested cell cycle significantly at the G0/G1 phase. The proposed synergistic activity of the two herbs in the treatment of several cancers was correlated with an appropriate associated target/s, based on the pharmacological network. Interestingly, when both the plants used in combination, were found to regulate a total of 16 genes in 27 types of cancers. Further, ALOX5, MMP2, and MMP9 genes were identified as major targets which are responsible for the TC + ZO anticancer activity. According to merged and sub-networks of source-bioactive, bioactive-target, target-disease of TC, ZO alone and their combination; MMP9 was selected for validation purpose. The real-time PCR analysis confirmed that the TC + ZO combination treatment significantly down-regulated MMP9 mRNA expression by fivefold via up-regulation of its downstream target ER-α by 3.5-fold. In conclusion, the network analysis and in vitro validation confirmed the potent synergistic activity of TC + ZO combination treatment in breast cancer.


T. cordifolia Z. offificinale Anticancer MMP9 ER-α Network pharmacology 



Matrix metalloproteinase 2


Matrix metalloproteinase 9


Arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase


Estrogen receptor 1


Estrogen receptor 2


Estrogen receptor alpha


3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase




Protein kinase C alpha type


Carbonic anhydrase 2


Kappa-type opioid receptor


Androgen receptor


Steroid 17-alpha-hydroxylase/17,20 lyase


Oxysterols receptor LXR-alpha


Tissue factor


Serine/threonine-protein kinase 33


Amyloid beta A4 protein



Authors strongly acknowledge Prof. Bhushan Patwardhan (Vice Chairman, UGC, New Delhi, India) for enormous guidance and support throughout the study. We are also grateful to Dr. Uma Chandran for guidance during network construction and analysis. Further, we thank Dr. Niraj, Dr. Vaibhav, Dr. Tejas, Mr. Avinash, Ms. Kavita and Ms. Jyoti for their assistance.

Author contributions

KJ designed the research plan, GJ performed all the experiments. KJ and GJ wrote the MS.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that there is no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

13205_2019_1930_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (442 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 443kb)


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TechnologySavitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Sinhgad College of EngineeringAffiliated to Savitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia

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