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Nutr Cancer. 2017 May-Jun;69(4):643-651. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2017.1295085. Epub 2017 Mar 21.

Triterpenoid Acids as Important Antiproliferative Constituents of European Elderberry Fruits.

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a Department of Pharmacognosy , Wroclaw Medical University , Wroclaw , Poland.
b Department of Medical Biochemistry , Wroclaw Medical University , Wroclaw , Poland.
c Department of Pathomorphology , Wroclaw Medical University , Wroclaw , Poland.


In Europe, both the fruits and flowers of Sambucus nigra L. have been used against cold, as well as laxative, diaphoretic, and diuretic remedies. There are also a number of commercially available food products that contain elderberry juice, puréed or dried elderberries. Recent comprehensive literature data on pharmacology and chemistry of Sambuci fructus have encouraged us to screen extracts with different polarities from this plant material against cancer cell lines. The cytotoxic activity of the ethyl acetate and aqueous acetone extracts from elderberries as well as detected triterpenoids on human colon adenocarcinoma cell line (LoVo) and human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7) was investigated by sulforhodamine B assay. Moreover, cell migration assay was conducted for triterpenoid fraction and pure compounds. Aqueous acetone extract possessed much lower IC50 value in cancer cell lines compared to ethyl acetate extract. The latter manifested high cytotoxicity against studied cell lines, suggesting that nonpolar compounds are responsible for the cytotoxic activity. Indeed, the phytochemical analysis revealed that ursolic and oleanolic acids are the main triterpenoids in the mentioned extract of which ursolic acid showed the highest activity with IC50 values of 10.7 µg/mL on MCF-7 and 7.7 µg/mL on LoVo cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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