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Nutrients 2015, 7(2), 849-864; doi:10.3390/nu7020849

Maltese Mushroom (Cynomorium coccineum L.) as Source of Oil with Potential Anticancer Activity

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, SS 554, Km 4.5, Monserrato, 09042 Cagliari, Italy
2
Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cittadella Universitaria, SS 554, Km 4.5, Monserrato, 09042 Cagliari, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 14 January 2015 / Published: 26 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Medicine)
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Abstract

The present study aimed to examine the potential anticancer properties of fixed oil obtained from Maltese mushroom (Cynomorium coccineum L.), an edible, non-photosynthetic plant, used in traditional medicine of Mediterranean countries to treat various ailments and as an emergency food during the famine. We investigated the effect of the oil, obtained from dried stems by supercritical fractioned extraction with CO2, on B16F10 melanoma and colon cancer Caco-2 cell viability and lipid profile. The oil, rich in essential fatty acids (18:3n-3 and 18:2n-6), showed a significant growth inhibitory effect on melanoma and colon cancer cells. The incubation (24 h) with non-toxic oil concentrations (25 and 50 μg/mL) induced in both cancer cell lines a significant accumulation of the fatty acids 18:3n-3 and 18:2n-6 and an increase of the cellular levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) with anticancer activity. Moreover, the oil exhibited the ability to potentiate the growth inhibitory effect of the antitumor drug 5-fluorouracil in Caco-2 cells and to influence the melanin content in B16F10 cells. The results qualify C. coccineum as a resource of oil, with potential benefits in cancer prevention, for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: B16F10 melanoma cells; colon cancer Caco-2 cells; Cynomorium coccineum L.; Maltese mushroom; cytotoxicity; lipid profile modulation B16F10 melanoma cells; colon cancer Caco-2 cells; Cynomorium coccineum L.; Maltese mushroom; cytotoxicity; lipid profile modulation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rosa, A.; Nieddu, M.; Piras, A.; Atzeri, A.; Putzu, D.; Rescigno, A. Maltese Mushroom (Cynomorium coccineum L.) as Source of Oil with Potential Anticancer Activity. Nutrients 2015, 7, 849-864.

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