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Evidences that Annona cherimola leaves extracts suppress the malignant melanoma cells growth and migration
* 1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 1 , 3 , 1 , 4 , 1
1  Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, Via P. Bucci, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Italy
2  Department of Pharmacy-Drug Sciences, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70126 Bari, Italy
3  Department of Science, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy
4  Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute, Università "Magna Græcia" di Catanzaro, Viale Europa, 88100 Catanzaro, Italia
Academic Editor: Jean Jacques Vanden Eynde


Cancer represents one of the major causes of mortality worldwide, indeed 19.3 million new cases and almost 10.0 million deaths have been estimated last year. Among the different type of cancers, malignant melanoma represents the most aggressive and deadly skin cancers. Unfortunately, the long-term efficacy of melanoma treatments is limited by the lack of clinical effects, together with the onset of side effects and resistance. The latter is a major obstacle for the success of the melanoma therapy, thus the exploration of new potent and safer anticancer agents is of great importance. Recently, numerous plant species, used for therapeutic purposes and containing various non-toxic nutraceuticals, have been widely studied. In particular, we investigated the antioxidant and anticancer properties on melanoma cells of three Annona cherimola leaves extracts (ethanolic, methanolic and aqueous). The ethanolic extract showed the most promising and interesting anticancer activity, mostly on the malignant A2058 melanoma cell line (IC50 = 5.6±0.8 ng/mL), without exerting cytotoxicity on the normal cells. It was also able to block the melanoma cells migration process, modulating the expression levels of some involved proteins. In addition, the A2058 cells treated with the ethanolic extract showed a clear disorganization of cytoskeleton dynamic, inducing cell apoptosis. Finally, numerous bioactive compounds, responsible of the antioxidant and antitumoral properties, were identified in the studied extracts.

Keywords: Annona cherimola; natural compounds; melanoma; tubulin; actin; epithelial-mesenchymal transition