Antiproliferative activity and induction of apoptosis by Annona muricata (Annonaceae) extract on human cancer cells

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Dec 24;14:516. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-516.


Background: Annona muricata (A. muricata) is widely distributed in Asia, Africa and South America. Different parts of this plant are used to treat several diseases in Cameroon. The aim of this study is to determine the in vitro anti-proliferative effects and apoptotic events of A. muricata extracts on HL-60 cells as well as to quantify its phenols content.

Methods: The cell viability was measured by using 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay while the changes in morphology of HL-60 cells, membrane mitochondrial potential (MMP) and the cell cycle were used for assessment apoptosis induction.

Results: The results show that the concentration of phenols, flavonoids and flavonols in the extracts varied depending on the part of the plant. All the extracts tested inhibited the proliferation of HL-60 cells in a concentration dependent manner with IC50 varied from 6-49 μg/mL. The growth inhibition of the cells by extracts was associated with the disruption of MMP, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and the G0/G1 cell arrest.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that the extracts from A. muricata have strong antiproliferation potential and can induce apoptosis through loss of MMP and G0/G1 phase cell arrest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Annona / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Flavonoids / analysis
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / drug therapy*
  • Leukemia, Promyelocytic, Acute / metabolism
  • Membrane Potential, Mitochondrial / drug effects
  • Mitochondria / drug effects
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Reactive Oxygen Species