Antiproliferative and apoptotic potential of cyanidin-based anthocyanins on melanoma cells

Dumitriţa Rugină, Daniela Hanganu, Zoriţa Diaconeasa, Flaviu Tăbăran, Cristina Coman, Loredana Leopold, Andrea Bunea, Adela Pintea

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18 Scopus citations


Elderberries are known for their high anthocyanins content, which have been shown to possess anti-proliferative and anti-cancer effects. Anthocyanins enriched extract (AEE) was obtained from elderberries and was characterized by LC/DAD/ESI-MS analysis. Five cyanidin-based anthocyanins were identified, among which Cy-3-O-samb was the major compound (51%). The total anthocyanins content of AEE was 495 mg Cy-3-O-samb/100 g FW. AEE inhibited proliferation of metastatic B16-F10 murine melanoma cells, in a concentration-dependent manner, with an IC50 of 264.3 μg/mL. LDH (lactate dehydrogenase), as a marker of membrane integrity, increased 74% in B16-F10 cells treated with 250 μg/mL AEE, compared to control. It was observed that apoptosis is the mechanism of melanoma cell death after AEE treatment, confirmed morphologically by acridine orange/ethidium bromide double staining and TUNEL analysis. These results indicate that elderberry-derived anthocyanins might be utilized in future applications as topical adjuvant in skin cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number949
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The financial support of UEFISCDI (Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding) through Grant with code PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-1135, 14/01.10.2015 is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Anthocyanins
  • Apoptosis
  • Melanoma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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