Research Article | Volume: 11, Issue: 7, July, 2021

Identification of the volatile and nonvolatile constituents of Schinus molle (L.) fruit extracts and estimation of their activities as anticancer agents

Ezzat E. A. Osman Eman A. Morsi Mortada M. El-Sayed Adil Gobouri El-Sayed S. Abdel-Hameed   

Open Access   

Published:  May 27, 2021

DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2021.110719
Abstract

This work was designed to assess the cytotoxic potential of Schinus molle (L.) fruit extracts and characterization of their chemical composition. The cytotoxicity of S. molle extracts was carried out on hepatoma HepG2 cell line using the Sulforhodamine B method. The volatile constituents of S. molle normal-hexane (n-hexane) extract and the essential oil were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), whereas the nonvolatile chemical compositions were investigated using the Liquid chromatography-electron spray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) technique. The n-hexane extract showed the highest cytotoxic inhibition activity on the HepG2 cell line in a concentration-dependent manner with inhibition concentration (IC50 = 9.75 µg/ml), followed by n-butanol fraction (IC50 = 10.70 µg/ml) and the essential oil (IC50 = 11.90 µg/ml). The GC-MS investigation of the essential oil afforded 50 compounds classified into monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes with different percentiles. The most abundant monoterpenes were α-phellandrene, myrcene, D-limonene, β-phellandrene, and α-pinene. At the same time, the major sesquiterpenes were juniper camphor, guaiyl acetate, γ-gurjunene, α-cadinol, and β-caryophyllene. On the other hand, the LC-ESI-MS investigation of the methanolic extract, n-butanol fraction, and aqueous part led to the identification of 31 phenolic compounds classified as phenolic acids, phenylethanoids, flavonoids, and tannins. These findings demonstrate the remarkable potentiality of S. molle extracts as a valuable source of anticancer capacity.


Keyword:     Anticancer flavonoids GCMS LC-ESI-MS phenolic Schinus molle.


Citation:

Osman EEA, Morsi EA, El-Sayed MM, Gobouri A, AbdelHameed ES. Identification of the volatile and nonvolatile constituents of Schinus molle (L.) fruit extracts and estimation of their activities as anticancer agents. J Appl Pharm Sci, 2021;11(07):163–171.

Copyright: © The Author(s). 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.

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INTRODUCTION

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) manifests in all genders, ages, and ethnic

Cancer is a prevalent disease which is considered as the second leading cause of mortality across the globe and the number of new cases increases day per day, especially in Asia, Africa, and USA (Nguyen et al., 2020; Singh and Patra, 2018). Cancer is a public health problem in developed and developing countries that affects human health and economic conditions (Shahat et al., 2019). Among cancers, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or liver cancer is the primary virulent tumor and the most common type of cancer that arises from the parenchymal liver cells. It is considered as the third leading reason for cancer deaths after lung and stomach cancers (Bray et al., 2018). Also, it represents the seventh cancer infection in women and the fifth in men (Anyasor et al., 2020). The main risk factors for HCC include nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis C and B viral infections, alcoholism, diabetes, obesity, primary biliary cirrhosis, and exposure to nitrosamines and aflatoxins (Abdel-Hamid et al., 2018; Chedid et al., 2017). The most popular treatment strategies of HCC are chemoembolization, orthotopic liver transplantation, and chemotherapy. The chemotherapy treatment protocol is the preferred method for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Unfortunately, chemotherapy is associated with drug resistance and other side effects that lead to liver failure (Siddiqui et al., 2019). On the other hand, the effective and safe alternative therapeutic tools for the treatment of HCC were natural products, especially secondary metabolites (Huang et al., 2016). Plant secondary metabolites are used in the health care system since ancient times. More than thousands of medicinal plants have been identified to possess many medicinal and pharmacological properties, including anticancer agents (Khlifi et al., 2013).

Schinus molle (L.), or pepper tree, belongs to the family Anacardiaceae comprising 72 genera and 600 species (Machado et al., 2019). Schinus molle is growing in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide including South America and Mediterranean countries (Malca-García et al., 2017). Schinus molle has high amounts of oil with a spicy smell which is used in the food industry, ornamentals, and medicines (Garzoli et al., 2019). In folklore medicine, the extracts of S. molle were documented as antitumor, astringent, antiviral, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, digestive stimulant, diuretic, and wound healer activities (Gomes et al., 2013; Hosni et al., 2011; López et al., 2014; Malca-García et al., 2017; Martins et al., 2014). The previously chemical investigation studies of S. molle have been reported; it contains various chemical ingredients, including monoterpenoid, sesquiterpenoid, triterpenoids, tannins, and flavonoids (Abdel-Hameed and Bazaid, 2017; Ono et al., 2008). To the best of our knowledge, there were no reports on the chemical investigation of S. molle fruits growing in Taif City, Saudi Arabia.

The main objectives of this work were (i) extraction of volatile and nonvolatile chemical components of S. molle fruits, (ii) investigation of the anticancer potential of different extracts of S. molle fruits, (iii) characterization of the chemical composition of S. molle fruits essential oil and n-hexane extract using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis, and (iv) identification of the nonvolatile chemical constituents using Liquid chromatography-electron spray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) analysis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Plant materials

The mature fruits of S. molle were collected from Taif city, Saudi Arabia. The plant sample was authenticated by Dr. Mohamed Fadle, Professor of Plant Taxonomy, Faculty of Science, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia. A voucher specimen (no. 13518) of plant fruits was deposited in the Medicinal Chemistry laboratory, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt. The fresh fruits were crushed using an electric mill to be ready for the extraction process.

Extraction of essential oil

150 g of freshly crushed fruits of S. mole was mixed with 2 l of distilled H2O in a round flask and hydrodistillated at 90°C using the Clevenger instrument. The system was operated till the essential oil was limited. 9.2 ml of the essential oil was collected and dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate. The obtained essential oil was stored at −20°C in a glass vial and away from contamination for biological and chemical investigations.

Preparation of organic extracts

150 g of freshly crushed fruits of S. mole was immersed in 750 ml n-hexane for 7 days at room temperature and then filtered using filter paper (Whatman No. 1). The n-hexane solvent was removed using a rotary evaporator (BUCHI, Switzerland) under reduced pressure and the extraction process was repeated three times. 12.3 ml yellow turbid viscous oily n-hexane extract was obtained. After extraction with n-hexane, the residue was extracted with 750 ml 85% Methanol (MeOH). The solvent was evaporated under vacuum to give a 30.7 g solid brown extract. Furthermore, 20 g of 85% MeOH extract (MeOH ext.) was dissolved in 100 ml distilled H2O and partitioned with normal-butanol (n-BuOH) (3 × 100 ml solvent) using a separating funnel. The n-BuOH and aqueous layers were separated and evaporated under reduced pressure to afford 8.3 g of n-BuOH fraction and 11.1 g of aqueous part. All extracts were kept in glass bottles for chemical profiling and biological investigations.

Cytotoxicity studies

The samples under the current study were in vitro tested against human liver carcinoma (HepG2) cell line, which was carried out at the National Cancer Institute, Cairo, Egypt, according to Skehan et al.’s (1990) method. Briefly, the HepG2 cells were seeded in 96-well microplates at a conc. (5 × 104 −105 cell/well) in a fresh medium and left for 24 hours. The samples (100 μl) with different concentrations (0.0, 12.5, 25, 50, and 100 μg/ml) have been added to the wells. The microplate wells’ total volume was completed up to 200 (μl volume/well) using a fresh medium and then incubated for 48 hours in 5% CO2 incubator at a temperature of 37°C. After 48 hours, the cells were fixed with 50 μl trichloroacetic acids (cold 50%) for 1 hour at 4°C. Moreover, the wells were washed with distilled H2O (5 times) and stained for 30 minutes at room temperature by 50 μl Sulforhodamine B (SRB) (0.4%). Furthermore, the plate wells were washed four times using acetic acid (1%), the plates were dried carefully, and then the dye was solubilized in 10 mM tris base at pH 10.5 (100 μl/well) for 5 minutes at 1,600 rpm using a shaker (Orbital Shaker OS 20, Boeco, Germany). The optical density of plate wells was determined by a spectrophotometer at 564 nm with ELIZA microplate reader (Meter tech. Σ 960, USA). Doxorubicin was used as a standard and the experiment was repeated in triplicate. The cell viability (%) was calculated from the following equation:

The cell viability (%) = [Optical density of treated cells/Optical density control cells] × 100.

In addition, IC50 was calculated from the cell viability curve of the cancer cell lines.

GC-MS conditions

The essential oil and n-hexane extract volatile chemical composition were investigated using gas chromatograph CP 3800 interfaced with a Saturn 2200 mass spectrometer (Varian, California, USA) with electron impact ionization (70 eV). A VF-5 fused silica capillary column (30 m × 0.25 mm, 0.25 μm film thickness) was used. The carrier gas was helium with a constant flow rate (1 ml/minute). The temperature of the oven was adjusted for 1 minute at 50°C, increased gradually to 120°C (5°C/minutes), 120°C–190°C (2°C/minutes), held for 1 minute at 190°C, 190°C–250°C (10°C/minutes), and held for 3 minutes at 260°C. The mass range of recorded ions was 45–400 m/z and the total run time was 60 minutes. The injected samples and standard mixture (1 mg/1 ml n-hexane) were prepared. The samples and standards (1 μl) were injected by autosampler with a split ratio of 1:20. The volatile constituents were characterized by cob 1qmparison of their retention time (tR), retention indices relative to (C8–C20) n-alkanes with standards, and matching their mass spectra with corresponding data (Wiley and NIST electronic libraries).

LC-ESI-MS conditions

A sample solution (5 mg/ml) of 85% MeOH ext., n-BuOH fraction, and aqueous part of S. molle fruits was prepared by a mixture of CH3CN:MeOH:H2O (1:1:2; v/v/v) and then filtered by 0.45 μm Nylon filter disk for injection to LC-ESI-MS system. The LC system (Waters Alliance 2695, Waters, USA) containing a reversed-phase column (RP-C18 Phenomenex 250 mm with 5 μm particle size) is hyphenated with a mass analyzer (Waters 3100). The LC mobile phase was filtered and degassed well, and analysis was carried out using gradient mobile phase with a flow rate (0.4 ml/minutes). The mobile phase consists of two eluents, mobile phase A (H2O containing 0.1% formic acid), and mobile phase B (CH3CN:MeOH; 1:1 and acidified with 0.1% formic acid). The LC time program was carried out as follows: 0–5 minutes (5% B); 5–10 minutes (5%–10% B); 10–55 minutes (10%–50% B); 55–65 minutes (50%–95% B); 65–70 minutes (5% B). The injected sample volume was 20 μl and analysis was performed in negative ion mode (in range m/z 50–1,000) with the following parameters: cone voltage (50 eV), capillary voltage (3 kV), source temperature (150°C), desolvation temperature (350°C), desolvation gas flow (600 l/hours), and cone gas flow (50 l/hours). The compound peaks were analyzed using software (Maslynx 4.1) and tentatively identified by comparing their mass spectra fragmentation pattern and retention time with standards and published data.

Data analysis

The data analysis was performed by the SPSS software for Windows (version 13.0) and all data were expressed as mean ± standard deviation.


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Cytotoxic activity

The cytotoxic activity of the S. molle different extracts such as the essential oil, 85% MeOH ext., n-hexane extract, n-BuOH fraction, and aqueous part was assayed against HepG2 cell line using SRB colorimetric assay. This assay exhibits the ability of SRB to attach with protein components of the cells, which are fixed by trichloroacetic acid to the tissue culture plates (Vichai and Kirtikara, 2016). Figure 1 exhibited the cell viability of S. molle fruit extracts, which represented the 85% extract had the highest cell viability, followed by the aqueous part, essential oil, n-BuOH fr., and n-hexane extract. On the other hand, it showed the IC50 value of S. molle fruit extracts and doxorubicin as a broad-spectrum anticancer drug. The results in Figure 2 showed that n-hexane ext. and n-BuOH fr. of S. molle exhibited the highest anticancer activity (IC50 = 9.75 and 10.70 μg/ml, respectively), followed by essential oil (IC50 = 11.90 μg/ml), aqueous part (IC50 = 15.80 μg/ml), and 85% MeOH ext. (IC50 = 16.40 μg/ml). The cytotoxic evaluation criteria of the plant extracts are according to American National Cancer Institute (NCI) protocols, in which the cytotoxic evaluation criteria of the plant extracts were considered to be significant when the IC50 values ≤ 30 (μg/ml), while for pure substances, the IC50 values should be ≤ 4 μg/ml (Geran et al., 1972). Therefore, all S. molle fruit extracts were considered to be significant anticancer plant extracts against HepG2 cell line. It was clearly appeared that the cytotoxic activity of the MeOH extract in the current study (IC50=16.40 μg/ml) had much higher cytotoxic activity than the MeOH extract of the same plant growing in Argentine (IC50= 50 μg/ml) as reported by Hamdan et al., (2016). Thus, the difference in cytotoxic activity may be due to the different time of collection and climate conditions. So, it is imperative to identify both volatile and nonvolatile constituents of S. molle extracts to know their chemical nature.

Figure 1. Cytotoxic activity of S. molle fruit extracts towards human liver carcinoma cell line (HepG-2).

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Figure 2. IC50 of tested S. molle fruit extracts against HepG-2 cell line.

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GC-MS investigation of S. molle fruits n-hexane extract and the essential oil

The GC-MS investigation of S. molle n-hexane extract and essential oil (Table 1 and Fig. 3) characterizes 50 compounds in both extracts with different percentages, corresponding to 99.46% in essential oil and 98.59% for n-hexane ext., in which 17 compounds of them were higher than 1% relative to the total volatile composition of S. molle fruits essential oil and n-hexane ext. The highest amount of monoterpenes (67.81%) was detected in essential oil, whereas n-hexane ext. had 37.87% of the total components. The main identified monoterpenes were α-phellandrene (26.24% in the essential oil; 17.70% in n-hexane ext.), myrcene (21.57% in the essential oil; 12.33% in n-hexane ext.), D-limonene (7.93% in the essential oil; 4.84% in n-hexane ext.), β-phellandrene (7.28% in the essential oil; 5.33% in n-hexane ext.), and α-pinene (2.69% in the essential oil; 1.17% in n-hexane ext.). On the other hand, sesquiterpenes were detected as major components in n-hexane ext. (59.23%), while the essential oil had 29.62% sesquiterpenes of the total components. Among them, juniper camphor (14.01% in n-hexane ext. and 1.60% in essential oil), guaiyl acetate (13.23% in n-hexane ext. and 1.16% in essential oil), γ-gurjunene (10.51% in n-hexane ext. and 7.51% in essential oil), α-cadinol (4.01% in n-hexane ext. and 1.40% in essential oil), and β-caryophyllene (3.29% in n-hexane ext. and 2.56% in essential oil) were the major identified sesquiterpenes. Some previous studies reported that S. molle aerial parts and fruits essential oils were riches with monoterpenes (Abdel-Sattar et al., 2010; Gomes et al., 2013; Hayouni et al., 2008; Machado et al., 2019; Martins et al., 2014), while some other studies reported that sesquiterpenes were represented as the main constituents (Abdel-Hameed and Bazaid, 2017; Cavalcanti et al., 2015; Garzoli et al., 2019; Simionatto et al., 2011). Thus, the variations in the chemical compositions percentiles of S. molle fruits essential oil and n-hexane ext. may be due to some thermal and chemical factors. Furthermore, the potent cytotoxic activity of n-hexane extract could be due to the presence of a high amount of monocyclic monoterpenes, acyclic monoterpenes, bicyclic monoterpenes, and bicyclic sesquiterpenes.

Table 1. Chemical composition of S. molle fruits essential oil and n-hexane ext.

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Figure 3. GC-MS chromatograms of S. molle fruit essential oil (1) and n-hexane extract (2).

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LC-ESI-MS profiling of organic extracts

A total of 31 phenolic compounds were the most abundant metabolites in S. molle fruits extracts (85% MeOH ext., n-BuOH fr., and aqueous part) characterized by LC-ESI-MS investigation in negative ion mode as shown in Table 2 and Figures 4 and 5. The detected compounds were numbered by their retention time order and tentatively identified by the mass fragmentation pattern and comparison with literature.

Compound 1 (Rt = 2.92 minutes) exhibited molecular ion peak at m/z 391 [M-H], gave abundant ion peak at m/z 195 [M-H-196], and reflected the presence of hydroxytyrosol acetate dimer. In addition, compound 2 (Rt = 3.00 minutes) exhibited a base peak at m/z 357 [M-H], afforded an abundant peak at m/z 195% [M-H-162], and reflected the loss of hexoside unit. It was tentatively assigned as hydroxytyrosol acetate-hexoside (Tasioula-Margari and Tsabolatidou, 2015). As can be seen in Table 2, compound 4 (Rt = 8.09 minutes) displayed [M-H] ion peak at m/z 169 and gave a fragment ion at m/z 125 [M-44-H], due to the loss of carboxylic group and this fragmentation pattern is typical for gallic acid as compared with standard. (Escobar-Avello et al., 2019). The derivatives of gallic acid were identified in the tested extracts by comparing their retention time and mass spectra. Compound 3 (Rt = 5.84 minutes) showed a deprotonated molecule at m/z 331 and yielded fragment ions at m/z 169 [M-162-H], which is related to the loss of hexoside moiety. Therefore, this compound was assigned as galloyl-O-hexoside (Mena et al., 2012). Compound 8 (Rt = 21.20 minutes) represents the precursor ion at m/z 183 [M-H], gives another fragment at m/z 169 [M-14-H], and refers to loss of the methyl group. Thus, compound 8 was assigned as methyl gallate. Compounds 5 and 6 (Rt = 15.78 and 16.78 minutes, respectively) exhibited a deprotonated peak ion [M-H] at m/z 325 and afforded a signal at m/z 169, 125, and 79, characteristic for galloyl shikimic acid and its isomer (Wyrepkowski et al., 2014). Furthermore, compounds 9 and 10 (Rt = 27.80 and 28.89 minutes, respectively) displayed a deprotonated ion [M-H] peak at m/z 477 and afforded fragment at m/z 325 [M-152-H], which means loss of the gallic acid unit. Therefore, this compound was characterized as digalloyl shikimic acid and its isomer (Li and Seeram, 2018). Compounds 11 (Rt = 32.98 minutes) and 12 (Rt = 33.06 minutes) had the same deprotonated ion at m/z 477 [M-H]. The fragmentation spectra displayed the same predominant ions at m/z 313, 295, 169, 163, and 125, characteristic for coumaroyl-O-galloyl-hexoside (Hofmann et al., 2016). Compound 13 (Rt = 33.56 minutes) exhibited molecular ion peak [m/z 787 (M-H)], the other fragments were at m/z 635 [M-152 (gallic unit)-H], 617, 477, 313, and 169, and this fragmentation pathway typically matched with tetragalloyl glucose. In addition, compound 17 (Rt = 37.49 minutes) afforded [M-H] at m/z 939, corresponding to pentagalloyl glucose (Hofmann et al., 2016; Meyers et al., 2006).

Table 2. Tentative identification of chemical constituents of S. molle MeOH ext., n-BuOH fr. and aqueous part by LC-ESI-MS.

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On the other hand, the MeOH ext. and n-BuOH fraction have some flavonoids such as compound 26 (Rt = 50.10 minutes) which exhibited molecular ion signal at m/z 301 [M-H], and the second-order spectra of this ion peak exhibited the formation of the ion signals at m/z 179, 151, and 79 which are characteristics for quercetin aglycon. Compound 14 (Rt = 34.65 minutes) represented a precursor ion at m/z 595 [M-H] and then afforded a fragment ion at m/z 301 [M-294-H], which means the neutral loss of hexosyl-pentoside unit. Thus, this compound was characterized as quercetin-3-O-hexosyl-pentoside (Simirgiotis et al., 2015). Compound 16 (Rt = 35.48 minutes) produced a quasimolecular ion at m/z 615 [M-H], and other fragments were at m/z 463 [M-152-H], which reflected the loss of galloyl unit and peak at m/z 301 [M-152-162-H], attributed to further loss of glucose unit; this compound was assigned as quercetin-3-O-galloyl-glucose (Pascale et al., 2020). Compound 18 (Rt = 37.82 minutes) produced molecular ion at m/z 463 [M-H] and ion signal at m/z 301[M-162-H], attributed to a neutral loss of glucose unit. Therefore, it was assigned as quercetin-3-O-glucose. Compound 19 (Rt = 38.32 minutes) gave molecular ion precursor at m/z 599 [M-H] and yielded fragment signal at m/z 463 [M-136-H], attributed to a neutral loss of protocatechuic acid unit, m/z 301 [M-136-162 (hexose)-H], thus confirming that the compound is quercetin-3-O-hexoside-protocatechuic acid. Compound 20 (Rt = 39.07 minutes) represented [M-H] m/z 599 and fragment peak at m/z 301 [M-176 (hexuronic acid)-H]. Thus, compound 20 was assigned as quercetin-3-O-hexuronic acid. Compound 22 (Rt = 41.83 minutes) had molecular ion at m/z 447 [M-H] and main fragment peak at m/z 301 [M-146 (deoxyhexose)-H]. Thus, it was identified as quercetin-3-O-rhamnose (Fernández-Poyatos et al., 2019). In addition, compound 28 (Rt = 53.69 minutes) had [M-H] at m/z 533 and other fragments at m/z 387 [M-146 (deoxyhexose)-H] and fragment at m/z 301[M-146 (deoxyhexose)-86 (malonyl unit)-H]. Hence, compound 28 was assigned as quercetin-3-O-malonyl-deoxyhexose (Kachlicki et al., 2008). Moreover, compound 21 (Rt = 40.74 minutes) had [M-H] peak at m/z 447 and another signal at m/z 285 [M-162-H] characteristic for kaempferol aglycone. Thus, it was assigned as kaempferol-3-O-hexoside. Compound 24 (Rt = 42.75 minutes) had precursor ions at m/z 483 [M-H] and m/z 285 [M-198-H]. Therefore, it was assigned as kaempferol derivatives (Chen et al., 2015). In addition, compound 26 (Rt = 50.43 minutes) gave precursor ions at m/z 283 [M-H], and another peak at m/z 268 (apigenin) [M-15-H]corresponded to the elimination of methyl group; therefore, this compound was assigned as apigenin-7-O-methyl ether (Simirgiotis et al., 2015), while compound 27 (Rt = 50.93 minutes) represented [M-H] at m/z 487 and then afforded ion fragments at m/z 283 [M-204-H]and m/z 268 [M-204-15-H], attributed to the liberation of acetyl-hexoside and methyl ether units, respectively. Thus, it was assigned as apigenin-7-O-methyl ether-acetyl-hexoside (Simirgiotis et al., 2015). Compound 29 (Rt = 55.77 minutes) had a molecular ion peak at m/z 541 [M-H] and afforded other fragments at m/z 415 and 389, characteristics for the fragmentation pattern of neochamaejasmin B (Huang et al., 2010). Compounds 30 (Rt = 58.78 minutes) and compounds 31 (Rt = 61.28 minutes) represented molecular ion signals at m/z 537 [M-H] and another fragment at m/z 375, characteristics for biapigenin. This compound was isolated before from the fruits of S. molle by Ono et al. (2008). These results indicated that S. molle extracts had various chemical compositions such as flavonoids (apigenin, kaempferol, and quercetin derivatives), phenolic acids, phenylethanoids, and gallotannins. Moreover, Figure 4 showed high abundant peaks identified as methyl gallate, digalloyl shikimic acid, pentagalloyl glucose, quercetin-3-O-glucose, quercetin-3-O-hexuronic acid, neochamaejasmin B, and biapigenin. These active ingredients may be responsible for the potent anticancer activity of S. molle fruit extracts. Moreover, the chemical profiling of n-BuOH fraction represented a high content of flavonoids, phenolic acids, phenylethanoids, and gallotannins which may be responsible for its high cytotoxic potential.

Figure 4. LC-ESI-MS base peak chromatograms of MeOH ext. (A), n-BuOH fr. (B), and aqueous part (C) of S. molle fruits in negative ionization mode.

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Figure 5. Chemical structures of the major compounds identified in S. molle extracts by LC-ESI-MS technique.

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CONCLUSION

In the present study, S. molle fruit extracts possessed a promising cytotoxic potential against the HepG-2 cell line. The chemical investigation of the volatile constituents of n-hexane ext. and the essential oil using GC-MS analysis led to identifying 50 compounds classified as monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and fatty acids, while the LC-ESI-MS chemical investigation of the 85% MeOH ext., n-BuOH fraction, and aqueous part led to characterize 31 polyphenolic compounds, for example, phenolic acids, flavonoids, phenylethanoids, and gallotannins. From the available literature, these bioactive secondary metabolites (volatile and nonvolatile constituents) had a broad spectrum of biological and pharmacological properties. Thus, our results suggested the selective potential of tested extracts for the treatment of different types of cancer and the possible usage of S. molle extracts as anticancer therapeutic agents.


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

GC-MS Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

IC Inhibition concentration

LC-ESI-MS Liquid chromatography-electron spray ionization-mass spectrometry

MeOH ext. Methanol extract

n-BuOH Normal-butanol

n-hexane Normal-hexane

SRB Sulforhodamine B


ETHICAL APPROVAL

The present work does not include the use of human or animal subjects.


CONFLICT OF INTEREST

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


FUNDING

None.


PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This journal remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published institutional affiliation.


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Huang Q, Chen H, Ren Y, Wang Z, Zeng P, Li X, Wang J, Zheng X. Anti-hepatocellular carcinoma activity and mechanism of chemopreventive compounds: ursolic acid derivatives. Pharm Biol, 2016; 54(12):3189–96. CrossRef

Huang W, Zhang X, Wang Y, Ye W, Ooi VEC, Chung HY, Li Y. Antiviral biflavonoids from Radix Wikstroemiae (Liaogewanggen). Chin Med, 2010; 5(23):1–6. CrossRef

Kachlicki P, Einhorn J, Muth D, Kerhoas L, Stobiecki M. Evaluation of glycosylation and malonylation patterns in flavonoid glycosides during LC/MS/MS metabolite profiling. J Mass Spectrom, 2008; 43:572–86. CrossRef

Khlifi D, Hayouni E, Valentin A, Cazaux S, Moukarzel B, Hamdi M, Bouajil J. LC–MS analysis, anticancer, antioxidant and antimalarial activities of Cynodon dactylon L. extracts. Indust Crops Prod, 2013; 45:240–7. CrossRef

Li C, Seeram NP. Ultra-fast liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization/time-of- flight mass spectrometry for rapid phenolic profiling of red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves. J Sep Sci, 2018; 41(11):2331–46. CrossRef

López A, Castro S, Andina MJ, Ures X, Munguía B, Llabot JM, Elder H, Dellacassa E, Palma S, Domínguez L. Insecticidal activity of microencapsulated Schinus molle essential oil. Ind Crops Prod, 2014; 53:209–16. CrossRef

Machado CD, Raman V, Rehman JU, Maia BHLNS, Meneghetti EK, Almeida VP, Silva RZ, Farago PV, Khan IA, Budel JM. Schinus molle: anatomy of leaves and stems, chemical composition and insecticidal activities of volatile oil against bed bug (Cimex lectularius). Rev Bras Farmacgn, 2019; 29:1–10. CrossRef

Malca-García GR, Hennig L, Ganoza-Yupanqui ML, Pina-Iturbe A, Bussmann RW. Constituents from the bark resin of Schinus molle. Rev Bras Farmacogn, 2017; 27:67–9. CrossRef

Martins MR, Arantes S, Candeias F, Tinoco MT, Cruz-Morais J. Antioxidant, antimicrobial and toxicological properties of Schinus molle L. essential oils. J Ethnopharmacol, 2014; 15:485–92. CrossRef

Mena P, Calani L, Dall’Asta C, Galaverna G, García-Viguera C, Bruni R, Crozier A, Del RD, Rapid and comprehensive evaluation of (Poly)phenolic compounds in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) juice by UHPLC-MSn. Molecules, 2012; 17:14821–40. CrossRef

Meyers KJ, Swiecki TJ, Mitchell AE. Understanding the native Californian diet: identification of condensed and hydrolyzable tannins in Tanoak Acorns (Lithocarpus densiflorus). J Agric Food Chem, 2006; 54:7686–91. CrossRef

Nguyen NH, Ta QTH, Pham QT, Luong TNH, Phung VT, Duong TH, Vo VG, Anticancer activity of novel plant extracts and compounds from Adenosma bracteosum (Bonati) in human lung and liver cancer cells. Molecules, 2020; 25:2912. CrossRef

Ono M, Yamashita M, Mori K, Masuoka C, Eto M, Kinjo J, Ikeda T, Yoshimitsu H, Nohara T. Sesquiterpenoids, triterpenoids, and flavonoids from the fruits of Schinus molle. Food Sci Technol Res, 2008; 14(5):499–508. CrossRef

Pascale R, Acquavia MA, Cataldi TRI, Onzo A, Coviello D, Bufo SA, Scrano L, Ciriello R, Guerrieri A, Bianco G. Profiling of quercetin glycosides and acyl glycosides in sun-dried peperoni di Senise peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) by a combination of LC-ESI (-)-MS/MS and polarity prediction in reversed-phase separations. Anal Bioanal Chem, 2020; 412:3005–15. CrossRef

Shahat AA, Hidayathulla S, Khan AA, Alanazi AM, Al Meanazel OT, Alqahtani AS, Alsaid MS, Hussein AA. Phytochemical profiling, antioxidant and anticancer activities of Gastrocotyle hispida growing in Saudi Arabia. Acta Trop, 2019; 191:243–7. CrossRef

Siddiqui S, Ahmad R, Khan MA, Upadhyay S, Husain I, Srivastava AN. Cytostatic and anti-tumor potential of Ajwa date pulp against human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Sci Rep, 2019; 9:245. CrossRef

Simionatto E, Chagas MO, Peres MTLP, Hess SC, Silva CB, Ré-Poppi N, Gebara SS, Corsino J, Morel AF, Stuker CZ, Matos MFC, Carvalho JE.. Chemical composition and biological activities of leaves essential oil from Schinus molle (Anacardiaceae). J Essent Oil Bear Pl, 2011; 14:590–9. CrossRef

Simirgiotis MJ, Benites J, Areche C, Sepúlveda B. Antioxidant capacities and analysis of phenolic compounds in three endemic Nolana species by HPLC-PDA-ESI-MS. Molecules, 2015; 20:11490–507. CrossRef

Singh SK, Patra A. Evaluation of phenolic composition, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of Polygonatum verticillatum (L.). J Integr Med, 2018; 16:273–82. CrossRef

Skehan PR, Storeng D, Scudiero. New colorimetric cytotoxicity assay for anticancer drug screening. J Natl Cancer Inst, 1990; 82(13):1107–12. CrossRef

Tasioula-Margari M, Tsabolatidou E. Extraction, separation, and identification of phenolic compounds in virgin olive oil by HPLC-DAD and HPLC-MS. Antioxidants, 2015; 4:548–62. CrossRef

Vichai V, Kirtikara K. Sulforhodamine B colorimetric assay for cytotoxicity screening. Nat Protoc, 2016; 1(3):1112–6. CrossRef

Wyrepkowski CC, Gomes CD, Lu M, Sinhorin AP, Vilegas W, De Grandis RA, Resende FA, Varanda EA, Campaner SL. Characterization and Quantification of the compounds of the ethanolic extract from Caesalpinia ferrea stem bark and evaluation of their mutagenic activity. Molecules, 2014; 19:16039–57. CrossRef

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Hayouni E, Chraief I, Abedrabba M, Bouix M, Leveau JY, Mohammed H, Hamdi M. Tunisian Salvia officinalis L. and Schinus molle L. essential oils: Their chemical compositions and their preservative effects against Salmonella inoculated in minced beef meat. Int Food Microbiol, 2008; 125:242-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.04.005

Hofmann T, Nebehaj E, Albert L. Antioxidant properties and detailed polyphenol profiling of European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) leaves by multiple antioxidant capacity assays and high-performance liquid chromatography/multistage electrospray mass spectrometry. Ind Crops Prod, 2016; 87:340-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2016.04.037

Hosni K, Jemli M, Dziri S, Mrabet Y, Ennigrou A, Sghaier A, Casabianca H, Vulliet EBN, Sebei H. Changes in phytochemical, antimicrobial and free radical scavenging activities of the peruvian pepper tree (Schinus molle L.) as influenced by fruit maturation. Ind Crops Prod, 2011; 34:1622-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2011.06.004

Huang Q, Chen H, Ren Y, Wang Z, Zeng P, Li X, Wang J, Zheng X. Anti-hepatocellular carcinoma activity and mechanism of chemopreventive compounds: ursolic acid derivatives. Pharm Biol, 2016; 54(12):3189-96. https://doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2016.1214742

Huang W, Zhang X, Wang Y, Ye W, Ooi VEC, Chung HY, Li Y. Antiviral biflavonoids from Radix Wikstroemiae (Liaogewanggen). Chin Med, 2010; 5(23):1-6. https://doi.org/10.1186/1749-8546-5-23

Kachlicki P, Einhorn J, Muth D, Kerhoas L, Stobiecki M. Evaluation of glycosylation and malonylation patterns in flavonoid glycosides during LC/MS/MS metabolite profiling. J Mass Spectrom, 2008; 43:572-86. https://doi.org/10.1002/jms.1344

Khlifi D, Hayouni E, Valentin A, Cazaux S, Moukarzel B, Hamdi M, Bouajil J. LC-MS analysis, anticancer, antioxidant and antimalarial activities of Cynodon dactylon L. extracts. Indust Crops Prod, 2013; 45:240-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2012.12.030

Li C, Seeram NP. Ultra-fast liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization/time-of- flight mass spectrometry for rapid phenolic profiling of red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves. J Sep Sci, 2018; 41(11):2331- 46. https://doi.org/10.1002/jssc.201800037

López A, Castro S, Andina MJ, Ures X, Munguía B, Llabot JM, Elder H, Dellacassa E, Palma S, Domínguez L. Insecticidal activity of microencapsulated Schinus molle essential oil. Ind Crops Prod, 2014; 53:209-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indcrop.2013.12.038

Machado CD, Raman V, Rehman JU, Maia BHLNS, Meneghetti EK, Almeida VP, Silva RZ, Farago PV, Khan IA, Budel JM. Schinus molle: anatomy of leaves and stems, chemical composition and insecticidal activities of volatile oil against bed bug (Cimex lectularius). Rev Bras Farmacgn, 2019; 29:1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2018.10.005

Malca-García GR, Hennig L, Ganoza-Yupanqui ML, Pina-Iturbe A, Bussmann RW. Constituents from the bark resin of Schinus molle. Rev Bras Farmacogn, 2017; 27:67-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2016.07.004

Martins MR, Arantes S, Candeias F, Tinoco MT, Cruz-Morais J. Antioxidant, antimicrobial and toxicological properties of Schinus molle L. essential oils. J Ethnopharmacol, 2014; 15:485-92. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2013.10.063

Mena P, Calani L, Dall'Asta C, Galaverna G, García-Viguera C, Bruni R, Crozier A, Del RD, Rapid and comprehensive evaluation of (Poly)phenolic compounds in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) juice by UHPLC-MSn . Molecules, 2012; 17:14821-40. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules171214821

Meyers KJ, Swiecki TJ, Mitchell AE. Understanding the native Californian diet: identification of condensed and hydrolyzable tannins in Tanoak Acorns (Lithocarpus densiflorus). J Agric Food Chem, 2006; 54:7686-91. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf061264t

Nguyen NH, Ta QTH, Pham QT, Luong TNH, Phung VT, Duong TH, Vo VG, Anticancer activity of novel plant extracts and compounds from Adenosma bracteosum (Bonati) in human lung and liver cancer cells. Molecules, 2020; 25:2912. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25122912

Ono M, Yamashita M, Mori K, Masuoka C, Eto M, Kinjo J, Ikeda T, Yoshimitsu H, Nohara T. Sesquiterpenoids, triterpenoids, and flavonoids from the fruits of Schinus molle. Food Sci Technol Res, 2008; 14(5):499-508. https://doi.org/10.3136/fstr.14.499

Pascale R, Acquavia MA, Cataldi TRI, Onzo A, Coviello D, Bufo SA, Scrano L, Ciriello R, Guerrieri A, Bianco G. Profiling of quercetin glycosides and acyl glycosides in sun-dried peperoni di Senise peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) by a combination of LC-ESI (-)-MS/MS and polarity prediction in reversed-phase separations. Anal Bioanal Chem, 2020; 412:3005-15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-020-02547-2

Shahat AA, Hidayathulla S, Khan AA, Alanazi AM, Al Meanazel OT, Alqahtani AS, Alsaid MS, Hussein AA. Phytochemical profiling, antioxidant and anticancer activities of Gastrocotyle hispida growing in Saudi Arabia. Acta Trop, 2019; 191:243-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.01.013

Siddiqui S, Ahmad R, Khan MA, Upadhyay S, Husain I, Srivastava AN. Cytostatic and anti-tumor potential of Ajwa date pulp against human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. Sci Rep, 2019; 9:245. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-36475-0

Simionatto E, Chagas MO, Peres MTLP, Hess SC, Silva CB, RéPoppi N, Gebara SS, Corsino J, Morel AF, Stuker CZ, Matos MFC, Carvalho JE.. Chemical composition and biological activities of leaves essential oil from Schinus molle (Anacardiaceae). J Essent Oil Bear Pl, 2011; 14:590-9. https://doi.org/10.1080/0972060X.2011.10643976

Simirgiotis MJ, Benites J, Areche C, Sepúlveda B. Antioxidant capacities and analysis of phenolic compounds in three endemic Nolana species by HPLC-PDA-ESI-MS. Molecules, 2015; 20:11490-507. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules200611490

Singh SK, Patra A. Evaluation of phenolic composition, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of Polygonatum verticillatum (L.). J Integr Med, 2018; 16:273-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joim.2018.04.005

Skehan PR, Storeng D, Scudiero. New colorimetric cytotoxicity assay for anticancer drug screening. J Natl Cancer Inst, 1990; 82(13):1107- 12. https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/82.13.1107

Tasioula-Margari M, Tsabolatidou E. Extraction, separation, and identification of phenolic compounds in virgin olive oil by HPLC-DAD and HPLC-MS. Antioxidants, 2015; 4:548-62. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox4030548

Vichai V, Kirtikara K. Sulforhodamine B colorimetric assay for cytotoxicity screening. Nat Protoc, 2016; 1(3):1112-6. https://doi.org/10.1038/nprot.2006.179

Wyrepkowski CC, Gomes CD, Lu M, Sinhorin AP, Vilegas W, De Grandis RA, Resende FA, Varanda EA, Campaner SL. Characterization and Quantification of the compounds of the ethanolic extract from Caesalpinia ferrea stem bark and evaluation of their mutagenic activity. Molecules, 2014; 19:16039-57. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules191016039

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