Anthocyanins are water soluble pigments which have been proved to exhibit health benefits. Several studies have investigated their effects on several types of cancer, but little attention has been given to melanoma. The phytochemical content of nine different berry samples was assessed by liquid chromatography followed by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI+-MS). Twenty-six anthocyanins were identified, after a previous C18 Sep-pak clean-up procedure. Chokeberry and red grape anthocyanins rich extracts (C-ARE and RG-ARE) were selected to be tested on normal and melanoma cell lines, due to their different chemical pattern. C-ARE composition consists of cyanidin aglycone glycosylated with different sugars; while RG-ARE contains glucosylated derivatives of five different aglycones. Both C-ARE and RG-ARE anthocyanins reduced proliferation, increased oxidative stress biomarkers and diminished mitochondrial membrane potential in melanoma cells, having no negative influence on normal cells. A synergistic response may be attributed to the five different aglycones present in RG-ARE, which proved to exert greater effects on melanoma cells than the mixture of cyanidin derivatives with different sugars (C-ARE). In conclusion, C-ARE and RG-ARE anthocyanins may inhibit melanoma cell proliferation and increase the level of oxidative stress, with opposite effect on normal cells. Therefore, anthocyanins might be recommended as active ingredients for cosmetic and nutraceutical industry. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
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Acknowledgements This paper was supported by UEFISCDI project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0944, 16/01.10.2015. The authors are grateful to biologist Raluca Ghiman for performing the graphical abstract.
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