Document Type : Research article
Medicinal Plants Research Center, Institute of Medicinal Plants, ACECR, Karaj, Iran.
Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Cancer is one of the most important causes of death all around the world. Screening plants and their secondary metabolites as cytotoxic agents is one of the common methods for identifying new compounds used in chemotherapy and inhibition cancer process. Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. from the Fabaceae family was used for improving wound, fever, tumor, hydrocele, hernia, smallpox, toothache, inflammation, and as astringent, anthelmintic, antidiabetic, and antimalarial agent in traditional medicine. A bioassay-guided study of this species led to the isolation of three flavonoids. At first, the cytotoxicity of methanol extract of aerial parts (leaves and stems), seeds, and legumes of this plant was tested against MCF-7 and PC-3 by MTT assay. The methanol extract of legumes showed better inhibitory activities (IC50 < 500 µg/mL). As a result, this extract was selected for fractionation. In the next step, the ethyl acetate (EtOAc) fraction was selected for phytochemical analysis based on the inhibitory activity (IC50 = 170 ± 0.9 µg/mL). In this way, total phenol content (625 ± 7.2 GAE/g extract) and antioxidant activity (IC50 = 6.1 ± 0.3 µg/mL) was compared by BHT (IC50 = 13.5 ± 0.7 µg/mL). Finally, three compounds including, quercetin-3-methyl ether (1), kaempferol (2), and kaempferol-3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-1→2)-β-D-xylopyranoside (3) were isolated from EtOAc fraction, and all isolated compounds were tested for their cytotoxicity and compound 1 showed better inhibitory activity than other two compounds. This study suggests that Caesalpinia bonduc could be considered for further investigations as a natural source of biological compounds.