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Molecules 2014, 19(4), 5360-5378; doi:10.3390/molecules19045360

Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of Methanolic Extract from a Neglected Agricultural Product: Corn Cobs

Laboratório de Biotecnologia de Polímeros Naturais (BIOPOL), Departamento de Bioquímica, Centro de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, RN 59078-970, Brazil
Laboratório de Bioensaios in vitro e Transdução do Sinal, Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, SP 13083-970, Brazil
Intituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia do Rio Grande do Norte (IFRN), Santa Cruz, Rio Grande do Norte, RN 59200-000, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2013 / Revised: 4 April 2014 / Accepted: 16 April 2014 / Published: 24 April 2014
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Neglected agricultural products (NAPs) are defined as discarded material in agricultural production. Corn cobs are a major waste of agriculture maize. Here, a methanolic extract from corn cobs (MEC) was obtained. MEC contains phenolic compounds, protein, carbohydrates (1.4:0.001:0.001). We evaluated the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant potential of MEC. Furthermore, its antiproliferative property against tumor cells was assessed through MTT assays and proteins related to apoptosis in tumor cells were examined by western blot. MEC showed no hydroxyl radical scavenger capacity, but it showed antioxidant activity in Total Antioxidant Capacity and DPPH scavenger ability assays. MEC showed higher Reducing Power than ascorbic acid and exhibited high Superoxide Scavenging activity. In tumor cell culture, MEC increased catalase, metallothionein and superoxide dismutase expression in accordance with the antioxidant tests. In vivo antioxidant test, MEC restored SOD and CAT, decreased malondialdehyde activities and showed high Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity in animals treated with CCl4. Furthermore, MEC decreased HeLa cells viability by apoptosis due an increase of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, caspase 3 active. Protein kinase C expression increased was also detected in treated tumor cells. Thus, our findings pointed out the biotechnological potential of corn cobs as a source of molecules with pharmacological activity.
Keywords: apoptosis; HeLa cells; maize; phenolic compounds apoptosis; HeLa cells; maize; phenolic compounds
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Melo-Silveira, R.F.; Fidelis, G.P.; Viana, R.L.S.; Soeiro, V.C.; Silva, R.A.; Machado, D.; Costa, L.S.; Ferreira, C.V.; Oliveira Rocha, H.A. Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of Methanolic Extract from a Neglected Agricultural Product: Corn Cobs. Molecules 2014, 19, 5360-5378.

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