Fenugreek, also known as Trigonella foenum-graecum L, is a natural plant that belongs to the Fabaceae family and has been known as a promising source of bioactive compounds. It has been widely used as traditional medicine since it has shown to lower blood glucose, manage cholesterol levels and further aid in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Herein, we aim to evaluate the anticancer activity of methanolic fenugreek seed extract against several cancer cell lines.
We sought to investigate the phytochemical classes present in multiple fenugreek seeds extracts using HPLC-DAD followed by LC/MS, predict and investigate anticancer activity using PASS online webserver, the CellTiter-Glo assay, evaluate ADME properties, and perform molecular docking for all bioactive compounds via Maestro software.
Multiple extracts exhibited distinct phytochemical classes that demonstrated different biological activities. Fenugreek methanolic extract contains flavonoid chemical class, which showed the highest anticancer activity against the HCT8 cell line of colorectal cancer (IC 50 of 8.83 μg/mL), followed by KAIMRC1 breast cancer cell line (IC 50 of 35.06 μg/mL), HL60 leukemia cell line (37.80 μg/mL), MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line (38.51 μg/mL), and lastly, HCT116 colorectal cancer cell line with IC 50 of 56.03 μg/mL. In contrast, the chloroform extract was inactive. The molecular docking study for all the bioactive compounds suggested that flavonoids F6 (−9.713 and −12.132), F7 (−10.166 and −12.411), and F11 (−10.084 and −13.516) possess the highest docking scores through SP and XP scores, respectively.
The obtained results confirm that the bioactive compounds present in fenugreek seeds exhibit anticancer activity against several cancer cells that can mediate via tubulin polymerization inhibition. Although our study has evaluated the anticancer potential of Trigonella foenum-graecum as a promising natural source for new anticancer agents, fenugreek biological activity needs further research and investigations on their mechanism of action and toxicity profile.