Background Clinical use of chemotherapeutic drug, cisplatin is small by it is medication and toxicity level of resistance. FGF2 human being cervical cell range. Nevertheless, the apoptosis induced was independent of caspase 3 activation and poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Further, ZALE activated Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) pathway as revealed by increased phosphorylation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinases (ERK), p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Inhibition of ERK activation but not p38 or JNK completely blocked the ZALE induced apoptosis suggesting an ERK dependent apoptosis. Moreover, ZALE generated DNA double strand breaks as suggested by the induction H2AX foci formation. Interestingly, pretreatment of certain cancer cell lines with ZALE, sensitized the cancer cells to cisplatin and other chemotherapeutic drugs. Enhanced caspase activation was observed in the synergistic interaction among chemotherapeutic drugs and ZALE. Conclusion Purification and identification of the bio-active molecules from the ZALE or as a complementary treatment for a sequential treatment of ZALE with chemotherapeutic drugs might be a new challenger to open a new therapeutic window for the novel anti-cancer treatment. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40659-015-0037-4) contains supplementary material, which is available 1092351-67-1 supplier to authorized users. DC. (local name: Mukthrubi) induced apoptosis and also sensitized the cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs. DC. is an aromatic medicinal plant in the Rutaceae family, and the plant parts like leaves, stem, bark, fruits, seeds and roots possess medicinal properties and are used in indigenous medicine preparation against various diseases like asthma, bronchitis, indigestion, varicose veins, diarrhea, rheumatism, dyspepsia, cholera and toothache. The different extracts from the vegetable possess different medicinal actions such as antioxidative , anti-inflammatory [8, 1092351-67-1 supplier 9], antimicrobial, insecticidal, larvicidal [10, 11], piscicidal , hepatoprotective , antitumor , and immunomodulation activity . Aqueous extract of activated nuclear and mobile broken combined with inhibition of mitotic activity in plant . The current research was undertaken to assess the cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of the primitive methanol get of leaves (ZALE) in human being cervical cell range (HeLa) and to gain understanding into the molecular system(s i9000) by which the get exert the cytotoxicity and chemo sensitize the tumor cells. Outcomes ZALE caused apoptosis in human being cervical tumor cell range To investigate the vegetation which caused cytotoxicity, 16 therapeutic vegetation from the Manipur, a Northeast component of India had been tested. Five components, including ZALE display IC50 much less than 80?g/ml even though the remaining 11 components display IC50 even more than 80?g/ml (Fig.?1a). In this paper we possess chosen ZALE for additional research. Treatment of HeLa cells with 80?g/ml of ZALE for 48?l showed marked morphological adjustments and cytotoxicity in dosage reliant way. Many of the cells had been curved up and unattached from the tissue culture dish (Additional file 1: Figure?S1). Determination of the number of viable cells in proliferation or cytotoxicity assays showed a dose dependent inhibition of cell proliferation of HeLa cells and the IC50 of the ZALE was approximately 60?g/ml (Fig.?1b). Fig.?1 Screening of apoptosis inducing plant extracts. 1092351-67-1 supplier a HeLa cells were treated with DMSO (negative control), ZALE (60?g/ml) or etoposide (Etp) for the indicated time. Total cell lysates … ZALE activates MAPK pathway Recent literatures have shown MAPK pathway dependent apoptosis without activating caspase 3 or PARP cleavage . This prompted us to investigate if ZALE treated cells also activated MAPK pathways and induced apoptosis independent of caspase 3 activation and PARP cleavage. Immunoblot analysis of MAPK pathways activation using phosphorylated forms of JNK, ERK and p38 show that 1092351-67-1 supplier none of the MAPK pathways were activated in 8?h; however all the MAPK pathways were activated in 16?h as determined by increased phosphorylation of ERK, JNK and p38 (Fig.?3). Maximum phosphorylation was found using anti-pERK (Fig.?3, Lane 3). Interestingly, ZALE also activated p38 similar to the activation by chemotherapeutic drug, etoposide. Fig.?3 Analysis of MAPK pathway activation by ZALE. Immuoblot showing MAPK pathway activtion. HeLa cells were treated with ZALE (60?g/ml) for 8 and 16?h and total cell lysates were immunoblotted with the indicated MAPK.