ABSTRACT Antioxidant properties elicited by plant species have a full range of perspective applications in human health care. In recent years, the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases has been associated with the ingestion of fresh fruits, vegetables or teas rich in natural antioxidants . Extracts from the different part of the pomegranate plant such as juice, seed and peel have been reported to exhibit a potent antioxidant activity. But the anticarcinogenic activity of active principle from the pomegranate peel extract was not studied so far. Hence the present study was planned to explore the molecular mechanism of the anticarcinogenic activity pomegranate peel on A549 cell line. In this study, GC-MS analysis was carried out for the methanolic extract of pomegranate peel which revealed gallic acid (GA) as the major antioxidant compound in the extract. Hence GA was purified further through RP-HPLC and evaluated its anticancer potential by studying its effect on mitochondrial respiration, cell-membrane integrity, apoptotic body formation and the DNA fragmentation in cultured A549 cells. We observed increased level of reactive oxygen species in the cells treated with GA at the concentrations of 10 and 20 ug/ml. Further analysis of caspase activation (caspase 8 and 9) revealed activation of caspases 9 in the cells treated with GA at a concentration of 20 ug/ml. Thus the present study revealed that the GA isolated from the pomegranate peel extract (Kabul variety) induced apoptosis in A549 cells through intrinsic pathway.
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