Pedunculagin isolated from Plinia cauliflora seeds exhibits genotoxic, antigenotoxic and cytotoxic effects in bacteria and human lymphocytes

J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2022 May 3;85(9):353-363. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2021.2009947. Epub 2021 Dec 7.


Pedunculagin (PD), an ellagitannin found in different plant species, possesses several pharmaceutical properties, including antitumor, antioxidant, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, the effects of PD alone on DNA remain to be determined. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential cytotoxic, genotoxic, and antigenotoxic activities of PD isolated from Plinia cauliflora seeds using in silico and in vitro assays. To elucidate the biological activities of PD, in silico tools indicative of antioxidant, antineoplastic, and chemopreventive activities of PD were used. Subsequently, the mutagenic/antimutagenic effects of PD were later assessed using bacteria with the Ames test, and the cytotoxic, genotoxic, and antigenotoxic effects utilizing human lymphocytes as evidenced by trypan blue exclusion test and CometChip assay. In silico analysis indicated potential antioxidant, chemopreventive, free radical scavenger, and cytostatic activities of PD. In the Ames test, PD was found to be not mutagenic; however, this plant component protected DNA against damage-mediated by mutagens 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide and sodium azide. Regarding human lymphocytes, PD alone was cytotoxic and genotoxic; however, it also reduced DNA damage induced by doxorubicin at co- and post-treatment. In conclusion, PD showed genotoxic, antigenotoxic and cytotoxic effects in human lymphocytes and antimutagenic effects in bacteria.

Keywords: Ames test; CometChip; DNA repair; Plinia cauliflora; pedunculagin.

MeSH terms

  • Antimutagenic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • DNA Damage
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes
  • Mutagens / toxicity
  • Myrtaceae*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Salmonella typhimurium
  • Seeds
  • Tannins


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Mutagens
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tannins
  • pedunculagin