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Phytother Res. 2015 Dec;29(12):1964-73. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5491. Epub 2015 Oct 14.

Betanin-Enriched Red Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) Extract Induces Apoptosis and Autophagic Cell Death in MCF-7 Cells.

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Sorbonne Universités, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, CNRS, Unité Génie Enzymatique et Cellulaire, Centre de Recherche Royallieu, CS 60319, Compiègne cedex, 60203, France.
Sorbonne Universités, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, CNRS, UMR 7338 Biomécanique et Bioingénierie, Centre de Recherche Royallieu, CS 60319, Compiègne cedex, 60203, France.
Institut Polytechnique LaSalle Beauvais, Département STAI, rue Pierre Waguet, BP 30313, Beauvais, 60026, France.


Recent studies have pointed out the preventive role of beetroot extracts against cancers and their cytotoxic activity on cancer cells. Among many different natural compounds, these extracts contained betanin and its stereoisomer isobetanin, which belongs to the betalain group of highly bioavailable antioxidants. However, a precise identification of the molecules responsible for this tumor-inhibitory effect was still required. We isolated a betanin/isobetanin concentrate from fresh beetroots, corresponding to the highest purified betanin extract used for studying anticancer activities of these molecules. The cytotoxicity of this betanin-enriched extract was then characterized on cancer and normal cells and we highlighted the death signalling pathways involved. Betanin/isobetanin concentrate significantly decreased cancer cell proliferation and viability. Particularly in MCF-7-treated cells, the expressions of apoptosis-related proteins (Bad, TRAILR4, FAS, p53) were strongly increased and the mitochondrial membrane potential was altered, demonstrating the involvement of both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. Autophagosome vesicles in MCF-7-treated cells were observed, also suggesting autophagic cell death upon betanin/isobetanin treatment. Importantly, the betanin-enriched extract had no obvious effect towards normal cell lines. Our data bring new insight to consider the betanin/isobetanin mix as therapeutic anticancer compound, alone or in combination with classical chemotherapeutic drugs, especially in functional p53 tumors.


2D and 3D cultures; anticancer activity; betalains; betanin concentrate; isobetanin

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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