Background: Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Natural products have been regarded as important sources of potential chemotherapeutic agents. In this study, we evaluated the anti-proliferative activity of Argemone gracilenta's methanol extract and its fractions. We identified those compounds of the most active fractions that displayed anti-proliferative activity. Methods: The anti-proliferative activity on different cancerous cell lines (M12.C3F6, RAW 264.7, HeLa) was evaluated in vitro using the MTT colorimetric method. Identification of the active compounds present in the fractions with the highest activity was achieved by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses. Results: Both argemonine and berberine alkaloids, isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction, displayed high anti-proliferative activity with IC50 values of 2.8, 2.5, 12.1, and 2.7, 2.4, 79.5 μg/mL on M12.C3F6, RAW 264.7, and HeLa cancerous cell lines, respectively. No activity was shown on the normal L-929 cell line. From the hexane fraction, a mixture of fatty acids and fatty acid esters of 16 or more carbon atoms with anti-proliferative activity was identified, showing a range of IC50 values of 16.8-24.9, 34.1-35.4, and 67.6-91.8 μg/mL on M12.C3F6, RAW 264.7, and HeLa cancerous cell lines, respectively. On the normal L-929 cell line, this mixture showed a range of IC50 values of 85.1 to 100 μg/mL. Conclusion: This is the first study that relates argemonine, berberine, and a mixture of fatty acids and fatty acid esters with the anti-proliferative activity displayed by Argemone gracilenta.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Jesús Sánchez-Escalante from the Herbarium of the University of Sonora for his support on the authentication of the plant. This project was conducted with the economic support from the National Council for Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT, Grant 83462).
© 2015 Leyva-Peralta et al.
- Anti-proliferative activity
- Argemone gracilenta
- Cancer cells
- Fatty acids