• Muhammad Hasan Bashari Departement of Pharmacology and Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia,
  • Saras Hidayat Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia
  • Yasmin Anissa Robles Ruswandi Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia
  • Tenny Putri Laboratory of Advanced Biomedicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia,
  • Nurul Qomarilla Laboratory of Advanced Biomedicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia,
  • Resti Gradia Dwiwina Departement of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia,
  • Dikdik Kurnia Departement of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia,
  • Mieke H. Satari Departement of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia
  • Fathul Huda Biomedical Science Master Program, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia, Departement of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia,



Colorectal cancer, Myrmecodia pendans, Sarang Semut, cytotoxic assay, clonogenic assay


Objective: Despite advanced treatment options available for colorectal cancer, many reported resistance and unresponsiveness to conventional chemotherapeutic agents. Therefore, it is urgent to discover a novel drug for colon cancer. Sarang Semut (Myrmecodia pendans), an Indonesian native plant, has been studied extensively due to its anti-cancer profiles. This study aimed to evaluate the anti-tumour activity of Sarang Semut in colon cancer cells.

Methods: We evaluated cytotoxic activity of methanol extract as well as n-hexane and ethyl acetate fraction towards colon cancer cell lines (Caco-2 and HCT-116 cells) utilizing 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The most potent fraction was evaluated further in inhibiting cell survival using MTT assay and cell proliferation using trypan blue exclusion assay as well as a clonogenic assay.

Results: Our data showed that the n-hexane fraction of Sarang Semut induces more cell death than the methanol extract and ethyl acetate fraction. Therefore, we analyzed the n-hexane fraction further and found that the inhibitory concentration 50% (IC50) of the n-hexane fraction was 24 and 30 parts per million (ppm) for Caco-2 and HCT-116 cells, respectively. Moreover, it inhibited cell growth as well as cell colony formation, in particular, shown by the plating efficiency (P<0.05) and colony area per seed (P<0.01) of the control group were different to the treatment group.

Conclusion: The n-hexane fraction of Sarang Semut demonstrates a high potential antitumor activity in colon cancer cell line.


Download data is not yet available.


Bray F, Ferlay J, Laversanne M, Brewster DH, Gombe Mbalawa C, Kohler B, et al. Cancer incidence in five continents: inclusion criteria, highlights from Vol. X and the global status of cancer registration. Int J Cancer 2015;137:2060-71.

Ferlay JSI, Ervik M, Dikshit R, Eser S, Mathers C, Rebelo M, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: IARC Cancer Base No. 11:GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0; 2012. Available from: [Last accessed on 28 Apr 2017]

Andre T, Tournigand C, Achille E, Tubiana Mathieu N, Lledo G, Raoul Y, et al. [Adjuvant treatment of colon cancer MOSAIC study's main results]. Bull Cancer 2006;93 Suppl 1:S5-9.

Papamichael D, Audisio RA, Glimelius B, de Gramont A, Glynne-Jones R, Haller D, et al. Treatment of colorectal cancer in older patients: international society of geriatric oncology (SIOG) consensus recommendations. Ann Oncol 2015;26:463-76.

Hammond WA, Swaika A, Mody K. Pharmacologic resistance in colorectal cancer: a review. Ther Adv Med Oncol 2016;8:57-84.

Hertiani T, Sasmito E, Sumardi, Ulfah M. Preliminary study on the immunomodulatory effect of sarang-semut tubers Myrmecodia tuberosa and Myrmecodia pendens. Online J Biol Sci 2010;10:136-41.

Sudiono J, Oka CT, Trisfilha P. The scientific base of Myrmecodia pendans as herbal remedies. Br J Med Med Res 2015;8:230-7.

Soeksmanto A, Subroto MA, Wijaya H, Simanjuntak P. Anticancer activity test for extracts of sarang semut plant (Myrmecodya pendens) to HeLa and MCM-B2 cells. Pak J Biol Sci 2010;13:148-51.

Achmad H, Supriatno S, Marhamah M, Rasmidar R. Anti-cancer and anti-proliferation activity of ethanol fraction of ant nest plants (Myrmecodya pendans) on human tongue cancer cell SP-C1. IOSR J Dental Med Sci 2014;13:1-5.

Yuletnawati SE, Meiyanto E, Agustina D. High antitumor activity of ethanolic extracts of papua’s ant nest plant (Myrmecodia tuberosa) on an oral carcinoma (KB) cell line. Int J Sci Res 2016;5:1619-23.

Suryawati, Suardi HN, Frengki. editors. The potential antioxidant activity of ethanolic extract of aceh ant-plant (Mymercodia sp) on the free radical DPPH (1, 1-Diphenyl-2-pikrylhidrazil). Proceedings of The Annual International Conference, Syiah Kuala University-Life Sciences and Engineering Chapter; 2013.

Chahar MK, Sharma N, Dobhal MP, Joshi YC. Flavonoids: a versatile source of anticancer drugs. Pharmacogn Rev 2011;5:1-12.

Assi M, Usta J, Mounimne Y, Aboul Ela M, El Lakany A. Phytochemical study and the antiproliferative activity of Inula vulgaris species grown in Lebanon. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2017;9:75-83.

Rezano A, Kuwahara K, Yamamoto-Ibusuki M, Kitabatake M, Moolthiya P, Phimsen S, et al. Breast cancers with a high DSS1 expression that potentially maintains BRCA2 stability have poor prognosis in the relapse-free survival. BMC Cancer 2013;13:562.

Vallet S, Bashari MH, Fan FJ, Malvestiti S, Schneeweiss A, Wuchter P, et al. Pre-osteoblasts stimulate migration of breast cancer cells via the HGF/MET pathway. PLoS One 2016;11:e0150507.

Strober W. Trypan blue exclusion test of cell viability. Curr Protoc Immunol 2015;111:A3, B1-3.

Franken NA, Rodermond HM, Stap J, Haveman J, Van Bree C. Clonogenic assay of cells in vitro. Nat Protoc 2006;1:2315-9.

Guzman C, Bagga M, Kaur A, Westermarck J, Abankwa D. Colony area: an ImageJ plugin to automatically quantify colony formation in clonogenic assays. PLoS One 2014;9:e92444.

Brink M, de Goeij AF, Weijenberg MP, Roemen GM, Lentjes MH, Pachen MM, et al. K-ras oncogene mutations in sporadic colorectal cancer in the netherlands cohort study. Carcinogenesis 2003;24:703-10.

Shirasawa S, Furuse M, Yokoyama N, Sasazuki T. Altered growth of human colon cancer cell lines disrupted at activated Ki-ras. Science 1993;260:85-8.

Phipps AI, Buchanan DD, Makar KW, Win AK, Baron JA, Lindor NM, et al. KRAS-mutation status in relation to colorectal cancer survival: the joint impact of correlated tumour markers. Br J Cancer 2013;108:1757-64.

Engida AM, Ju YH. Recovery of antioxidants from Myrmecodia pendans and identification of its major constituent. J Anal Bioanal Tech 2013;2:3.

Dirgantara S, Dewi K, Raya J, Simanjuntak T. Studi botani dan fitokimia tiga spesies tanaman sarang semut asal Kabupaten Merauke, Papua. J Pharm Sci Pharm Pract 2015;2:20-3.

Engida AM, Kasim NS, Tsigie YA, Ismadji S, Huynh LH, Ju YH. Extraction, identification and quantitative HPLC analysis of flavonoids from sarang semut (Myrmecodia pendan). Ind Crops Prod 2013;41:392-6.

Supriatno M. Antitumor activity of papua’s Myrmecodia pendans in human oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma cell line through induction of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 and suppression of cyclin E. J Cancer Res Ther 2014;2:48-53.

Hasanuddin, Krisnandi S, Supriadi G, Kurnia D, Adhita D. Potential of terpenoid bioactive compound isolated from papua ant nest as an alternative ovarian cancer treatment. Open J Obstetrics Gynecol 2015;5:406-11.

Munshi A, Hobbs M, Meyn RE. Clonogenic cell survival assay. Methods Mol Med 2005;110:21-8.



How to Cite

Bashari, M. H., S. Hidayat, Y. A. R. Ruswandi, T. Putri, N. Qomarilla, R. G. Dwiwina, D. Kurnia, M. H. Satari, and F. Huda. “THE N-HEXANE FRACTION OF MYRMECODIA PENDANS INHIBITS CELL SURVIVAL AND PROLIFERATION IN COLON CANCER CELL LINE”. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 10, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 108-12, doi:10.22159/ijpps.2018v10i1.21882.



Original Article(s)