Anti-tumour promoter activity in Malaysian ginger rhizobia used in traditional medicine.
Br J Cancer. 1999 Apr;80(1-2):110-6. PMID: 10389986
Zingiberaceae rhizomes commonly used in the Malaysian traditional medicine were screened for anti-tumour promoter activity using the short-term assay of inhibition of 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced Epstein-Barr virus early antigen (EBV-EA) in Raji cells. The inhibition of TPA-induced EBV-EA was detected using the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and Western blot technique. The indirect IFA detected the expression/inhibition of EBV-EA-D (diffused EA antigen), whereas the Western blot technique detected the expression/inhibition of both EBV-EA-D and EA-R (restricted EA antigen). Seven rhizomes were found to possess inhibitory activity towards EBV activation, induced by TPA; they are: Curcuma domestica, C. xanthorrhiza, Kaempferia galanga, Zingiber cassumunar, Z. officinale, Z. officinale (red variety), and Z. zerumbet. A cytotoxicity assay was carried out to determine the toxicity of the Zingiberaceae rhizome extracts. The rhizome extracts that exhibited EBV activation inhibitory activity had no cytotoxicity effect in Raji cells. Therefore, the present study shows that several Zingiberaceae species used in Malaysian traditional medicine contain naturally occurring non-toxic compounds that inhibit the EBV activation, which, if further investigated, could contribute in the development of cancer prevention methods at the tumour-promoting stage.