Utilization of Cratoxylum formosum crude extract for synthesis of ZnO nanosheets: Characterization, biological activities and effects on gene expression of nonmelanoma skin cancer cell

Skin Cancer

Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Jul 30;130:110552. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110552. Online ahead of print.


Cratoxylum formosum Dyer is a medicinal plant widely found in Asia and commonly consumed for food and folk medicine. It is rich in phenolic compounds. The present study utilized water crude extract of C. formosum leaves to synthesize zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) by green synthesis. The synthesized ZnO NPs with the average electronic band gap ∼3 eV were obtained and found to either have spherical shape or sheet-like structures depending on synthesis process and concentration of crude

extract. Higher concentration of C. formosum extract also eliminates impurity of Zn(OH)2 during the synthesis. Results from an agar disk diffusion assay demonstrated that all synthesized ZnO samples inhibited growth of Gram-positive bacteria, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus epidermidis and Gram-negative bacterium, Escherichia coli. Furthermore, all synthesized ZnO demonstrated potent anti-cancer activity against non-melanoma skin cancer cells (A431) and the intermediary of cancerous keratinocytes (HaCaT) without affecting normal cell lines (Vero). In addition, we observed that the ZnO nanosheet offered stronger cytotoxicity effects against A431 than spherical shaped ZnO particles. Analysis of RNA-sequencing data revealed that synthesized ZnO nanosheets altered the number of genes in pathways involved in cancer and MAPK signaling pathways in A431 cells. Several isoforms of metallothionein transcripts were upregulated including transcripts involved in inflammatory responses whereas transcripts promoted cell proliferation and apoptosis were downregulated. Therefore, these studies firstly reported potential usage of the green-synthesized ZnO nanosheets from C. formosum extract for development of antibacterial substances or anticancer drugs.