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PLoS One. 2015 Jul 15;10(7):e0132439. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132439. eCollection 2015.

Anti-Proliferative Effect of Rosmarinus officinalis L. Extract on Human Melanoma A375 Cells.

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Department of Biology, University of "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy.
Centro di Servizi Interdipartimentale, Stazione per la Tecnologia Animale, University of "Tor Vergata", Rome, Italy.
Department of Biochemical Sciences, Sapienza, University of Rome, Rome, Italy.
Department of Agricultural and Food Science, University of Naples "Federico II", Portici, Naples, Italy.


Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) has been used since ancient times in traditional medicine, while nowadays various rosemary formulations are increasingly exploited by alternative medicine to cure or prevent a wide range of health disorders. Rosemary's bioproperties have prompted scientific investigation, which allowed us to ascertain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cytostatic, and cytotoxic activities of crude extracts or of pure components. Although there is a growing body of experimental work, information about rosemary's anticancer properties, such as chemoprotective or anti-proliferative effects on cancer cells, is very poor, especially concerning the mechanism of action. Melanoma is a skin tumor whose diffusion is rapidly increasing in the world and whose malignancy is reinforced by its high resistance to cytotoxic agents; hence the availability of new cytotoxic drugs would be very helpful to improve melanoma prognosis. Here we report on the effect of a rosemary hydroalcoholic extract on the viability of the human melanoma A375 cell line. Main components of rosemary extract were identified by liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS) and the effect of the crude extract or of pure components on the proliferation of cancer cells was tested by MTT and Trypan blue assays. The effect on cell cycle was investigated by using flow cytometry, and the alteration of the cellular redox state was evaluated by intracellular ROS levels and protein carbonylation analysis. Furthermore, in order to get information about the molecular mechanisms of cytotoxicity, a comparative proteomic investigation was performed.

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