Antiproliferative effects of Turkish pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) extracts on MCF-7 human breast cancer cell lines with focus on antioxidant potential and bioactive compounds analyzed by LC-MS/MS

J Food Biochem. 2021 Sep;45(9):e13904. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.13904. Epub 2021 Aug 19.


In this study, eight different pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) cultivars from Turkey were evaluated for their antioxidant and cytotoxic effects on the MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines and MCF-10A breast fibrocystic epithelial cell lines with a focus on their chemical compositions by LC-MS/MS. Cell lines were treated with pomegranate juice extracts in different doses at selected time intervals (24th, 48th, and 72nd hour). Afterwards, WST-1 cell proliferation assay was performed to investigate the cytotoxicity of the extracts. Accordingly, all extracts decreased the cell viability of MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines and had no cytotoxic effect on the cell viability of MCF-10A cell lines. Among eight extracts, P7 (Izmir 1513), which was rich in anthocyanins such as cyanidin chloride (69.76 ± 8.02 μg/g extract), cyanidin-3-O-glucoside (903.66 ± 101.89 μg/g extract), and punicalagin (992.09 ± 174.53 μg/g extract), was found to demonstrate the strongest cytotoxic activity on MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines by decreasing the cell viability in half at 24th hour with an IC50 value of 49.08 µg/ml. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Eight commercially valuable pomegranate (Punica granatum) cultivars from Turkey were examined. Pelargonidin, cyanidin, cyanidin-3-O-gl, callistephin, and delphinidin-3-O-gl were quantified. Two cultivars (P1 and P3) showed comparatively higher antioxidant effects. A cultivar (P7) showed strongest cytotoxic activity against MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. The cultivars have potential to be used as natural antioxidant and anticancer agents.

Keywords: LC-MS/MS; MCF-7; antioxidant; cultivated; cytotoxicity; pomegranate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Female
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Pomegranate*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Turkey


  • Anthocyanins
  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Extracts