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Comparison of Organosulfur and Amino Acid Composition between Triploid Onion Allium cornutum Clementi ex Visiani, 1842, and Common Onion Allium cepa L., and Evidences for Antiproliferative Activity of Their Extracts

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Split, R. Boškovića 33, 21000 Split, Croatia
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Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Split, R. Boškovića 33, 21000 Split, Croatia
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Department of Food Technology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Chemistry and Technology, University of Split, R. Boškovića 35, 21000 Split, Croatia
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Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry and Technology, University of Split, R. Boškovića 35, 21000 Split, Croatia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(1), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010098
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 8 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 13 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicinal Plants)
Species that belong to the genus Allium have been widely used for human food and traditional medicine. Their beneficial health effects, as well as the specific aroma, are associated with their bioactive chemical compounds, such as sulfur compounds and flavonoids. Gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (reverse-phase HPLC) were used to identify organosulfur and amino acid content of triploid hybrid onion, Allium cornutum Clement ex Visiani, 1842, and common onion, Allium cepa L. Allium extracts were tested for their antiproliferative activity in three human cancer cell lines (HeLa, HCT116, and U2OS). DNA fragmentation and DAPI staining analysis were performed on HeLa cells to evaluate the effect of extracts on DNA damage and cell morphology. The mRNA expression of p53, Bax, and Caspase-3 genes involved in apoptosis were analyzed by real-time PCR. Using GC–MS, 27 compounds were found in two Allium species headspaces. Differences were noted among the main compound abundance in the headspace (although the major thiols and disulfides were qualitatively identic in both Allium species) and dipropyl disulfide, diisopropyl trisulfide, and (Z)-prop-1-enyl propyl trisulfide were predominant sulfides. Identification of amino acids and their quantities were determined by reverse-phase HPLC. Most abundant amino acids in both onions were arginine (Arg) and glutamic acid (Glu). The results of cytotoxicity testing confirmed antiproliferative effects of both species. The DNA fragmentation assay, DAPI staining and real time PCR analysis confirmed that A. cornutum and A. cepa extracts induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. This study presents the evidence for possible therapeutic use of A. cornutum and A. cepa extracts against human cervical carcinoma cell line. View Full-Text
Keywords: Allium cornutum Clementi ex Visiani; 1842; Allium cepa L.; organosulfur compounds; amino acids; antiproliferative activity; apoptosis Allium cornutum Clementi ex Visiani; 1842; Allium cepa L.; organosulfur compounds; amino acids; antiproliferative activity; apoptosis
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Fredotović, Ž.; Soldo, B.; Šprung, M.; Marijanović, Z.; Jerković, I.; Puizina, J. Comparison of Organosulfur and Amino Acid Composition between Triploid Onion Allium cornutum Clementi ex Visiani, 1842, and Common Onion Allium cepa L., and Evidences for Antiproliferative Activity of Their Extracts. Plants 2020, 9, 98.

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