In vitro Anticancer Activity of Aponogeton madagascariensis Anthocyanin Extracts

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Arunika Gunawardena
Alice Rollini
Andrea Rasussen
Adrian Dauphinee
Wasundara Fernando
Shawna MacKinnon
A. Harrison Wright
David W. Hoskin


apoptosis, crude extracts, cytotoxicity, lace plant, non-anthocyanin, programmed cell death


Introduction: Aponogeton madagascariensis (lace plant) is a freshwater aquatic flowering plant belonging to the family Aponogetonaceae that forms leaf perforations via programmed cell death (PCD). The lace plant has emerged as a novel model system for studying PCD in planta due to the predictability and accessibility of this process. Anthocyanins, and the balance between ROS and antioxidants, play a central role in regulating PCD in lace plant leaves. Aponogetonaceae family members have shown medicinal properties, including antioxidant and anticancer activities; however, nothing is known about the lace plant’s potential for medicinal use. Therefore, this study evaluated the anticancer activities of lace plant anthocyanin extracts.

Methods: Cell line growth and viability were assessed following exposure to lace plant leaf anthocyanin extracts. This study utilized a triple-negative breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-231, two human ovarian epithelial cancer cell lines, OVCAR-8 and SKOV-3, along with a normal mammary epithelial cell line, MCF-10A. Furthermore, crude anthocyanin extracts were fractionated into anthocyanin and non-anthocyanin containing fractions and tested only on MDA-MB-231 cells.

Results and Discussion: The crude anthocyanin extracts from lace plant leaves inhibited the growth of MDA-MB-231, OVCAR-8, and SKOV-3 cells in a concentration-dependent manner and had no effect on MCF-10A cells. Lace plant crude anthocyanin extracts appeared to induce apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 cells. Interestingly, treatment with anthocyanin and non-anthocyanin fractions decreased the growth of MDA-MB-231, similarly to crude anthocyanin extracts, suggesting the presence of other anticancer compounds in the lace plant extracts.

Conclusions: Lace plant crude anthocyanin extracts and corresponding fractions have in vitro anticancer activities.

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