Inhibition of Proliferation of Breast Cancer Cells MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 by Lipophilic Extracts of Papaya (Carica papaya L. var. Maradol) Fruit


Several epidemiological studies have suggested that carotenoids have antineoplasic activities. The objective of this study was to determine the antiproliferative effect of rich carotenoid lipophilic extracts of papaya fruit pulp ( Carica papaya L., cv Maradol) in breast cancer cells, MCF-7 (estrogen receptor positive) and MDA-MB-231 (estrogen receptor negative), and in non-tumoral mammary epithelial cells MCF-12F. Antiproliferative effect was evaluated using the methylthiazolydiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and testing lipophilic extracts from different papaya fruit ripening stages (RS1, RS2, RS3, RS4), at different times (24, 48 and 72 h). Papaya lipophilic extracts do not inhibit cell proliferation of MCF-12F and MDA-MB-231 cells. However, MCF-7 cells showed a significant reduction in proliferation at 72 h with the RS4 papaya extract. Results suggested that lipophilic extracts had different action mechanisms on each type of cells and therefore, more studies were required to elucidate such mechanisms.

Share and Cite:

Sancho, L. , Yahia, E. , García-Solís, P. and González-Aguilar, G. (2014) Inhibition of Proliferation of Breast Cancer Cells MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 by Lipophilic Extracts of Papaya (Carica papaya L. var. Maradol) Fruit. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 2097-2103. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.521222.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] World Health Organization (2014) The World Health Report.
[2] Lee, J., Koo, N. and Min, D.B. (2004) Reactive Oxygen Species, Aging, and Antioxidative Nutraceuticals. Comprehensive Review Food Science and Food Safety, 3, 21-33.
[3] Yahia, E.M. (2010) The Contribution of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption to Human Health. In: de la Rosa, L.A., Alvarez-Parrilla, E., Gonzalez-Aguilar, G.A., Eds., Fruit and Vegetable Phytochemicals, Wiley-Blackwell, Iowa, 3-51.
[4] US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Health and Human Services (USDA/HHS) (2010) 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.
[5] Gonzalez-Aguilar, G.A., Celis, J., Sotelo-Mundo, R.R., De La Rosa, L.A., Rodrigo-García, J. and Alvarez-Parrilla, E. (2008) Physiological and Biochemical Changes of Different Fresh-Cut Mango Cultivars Stored at 5?C. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 43, 91-101.
[6] McEligot, A.J., Yang, S. and Meyskens Jr., F.L. (2005) Redox Regulation by Intrinsic Species and Extrinsic Nutrients in Normal and Cancer Cells. Annual Review of Nutrition, 25, 261-295.
[7] Borek, C. (2004) Dietary Antioxidants and Human Cancer. Integrative Cancer Therapies, 3, 333-341.
[8] Sumantran, V.N., Zhang, R., Lee, D.S. and Wicha, M.S. (2000) Differential Regulation of Apoptosis in Normal versus Transformed Mammary Epithelium by Lutein and Retinoic Acid. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 9, 257-263.
[9] Rock, C.L. (2002) Carotenoids and Cervical, Breast, Ovarian, and Colorectal Cancer. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 74, 1451-1459.
[10] Krinsky, N.I. and Johnson, E.J. (2005) Carotenoid Actions and Their Relation to Health And Disease. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 26, 459-516.
[11] Propapaya (2013)
[12] Gayosso-García Sancho, L.E., Yahia, E.M., Martínez-Téllez, M.A. and González-Aguilar, G.A. (2010) Effect of Maturity Stage of Papaya Maradol on Physiological and Biochemical Parameters. American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 5, 194-203.
[13] Corral-Aguayo, R.D., Yahia, E.M., Carrillo-Lopez, A. and González-Aguilar, G. (2008) Correlation between Some Nutritional Components and the Total Antioxidant Capacity Measured with Six Different Assays in Eight Horticultural Crops. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56, 10498-10504.
[14] Rivera-Pastrana, D.M., Yahia, E.M. and Gonzalez-Aguilar, G. (2010) Phenolic and Carotenoid Profiles of Papaya Fruit (Carica papaya L.) and Their Contents under Low Temperature Storage. Journal of the Science of Food & Agriculture, 90, 2358-2365.
[15] Yahia, E.M., Soto-Zamora, G., Brecht, J.K. and Gardea, A. (2007) Postharvest Hot Air Treatment Effects on the Antioxidant System in Stored Mature-Green Tomatoes. Postharvest Biology and Technology, 44, 107-115.
[16] Gayosso-García Sancho, L.E., Yahia, E.M. and González-Aguilar, G.A. (2011) Identification and Quantification of Phenols, Carotenoids and Vitamin C from Papaya (Carica Papaya L., cv. Maradol) Fruit Determined by HPLC-DAD-MS/MS ESI. Food Research International, 44, 1284-1291.
[17] García-Solís, P., Yahia, E.M., Morales-Tlalpan, V. and Diaz-Muñoz, M. (2009) Screening of Antiproliferative Effect of Aqueous Extracts of Plant Foods Consumed in Mexico on the Breast Cancer Cell Line MCF-7. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 26, 32-46.
[18] Jackisch, C., Hahm, H.A., Tombal, B., McCloskey, D., Butash, K., Davidson, N.E. and Denmeade, S.R. (2000) Delayed Micromolar Elevation in Intracellular Calcium Precedes Induction of Apopoptosis in Thapsigargin-Treated Breast Cancer Cells. Clinical Cancer Research, 6, 2844-2850.
[19] Thangaiyan, R. and Anupam, B. (2009) Terpenoids and Breast Cancer Chemoprevention. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 115, 223-239.
[20] Musa-Veloso, K., Card, J.W., Wong, A.W. and Cooper, D.A. (2009) Influence of Observational Study Design on the Interpretation of Cancer Risk Reduction by Carotenoids. Nutrition Reviews, 67, 527-545.
[21] Knaul, F.M., Nigenda, G., Lozano, R., Arreola-Ornelas, H., Langer, A. and Frenk, J. (2009) Cáncer de mama en México: Una prioridad apremiante. Salud Pública de México, 51, 335-344.
[22] Simstein, R., Burow, M., Parker, A., Weldon, C. and Beckman, B. (2003) Review Apoptosis, Chemoresistance, and Breast Cancer: Insights from the MCF-7 Cell Model System. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 228, 995-1003.
[23] Yang, J. and Liu, R. (2009) Synergistic Effect of Apple Extracts and Quercetin 3-β-D-Glucoside Combination on Anti-proliferative Activity in MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells in Vitro. Journal of Agricultural of Food Chemistry, 57, 8581-8586.
[24] Cui, Y., Lu, Z., Bai, L., Shi, Z., Zhao, W.E. and Zhao, B. (2007) β-Carotene Induces Apoptosis and Up-Regulates Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ Expression and Reactive Oxygen Species Production in MCF-7 Cancer Cells. European Journal of Cancer, 43, 2590-2601.
[25] Prakash, P., Russell, R.M. and Krinsky, N.I. (2001) In Vitro inhibition of Proliferation of Estrogen-Dependent and Estrogen-Independent Human Breast Cancer Cells Treated with Carotenoids or Retinoids. The Journal of Nutrition, 131, 1574-1580.
[26] Rock, C.L., Natarajan, L., Pu, M., Thomson, C.A., Flatt, S.W., Caan, B.J., Gold, E.B., Al-Delaimy, W.K., Newman, V. A., Hajek, R.A., Stefanick, M.L. and Pierce, J.P. (2009) Longitudinal Biological Exposure to Carotenoids Associated with Breast Cancer-Free Survival in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Study. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 18, 486-494.
[27] Yahia, M.E. and Ornelas-Paz, J.J. (2010) Chemistry, Stability and Biological Actions of Carotenoids. In: de la Rosa L. A., Alvarez-Parrilla, E. and Gonzalez-Aguilar, G.A., Eds., Fruit and Vegetable Phytochemicals, Wiley-Blackwell, Ames, 177-222.
[28] Ross, D.T. and Perou, C.M. (2001) A Comparison of Gene Expression Signatures from Breast Tumors and Breast Tissue Derived Cell Lines. Disease Markers, 17, 99-109.
[29] Prakash, P., Krinsky, N.I. and Russell, R.M. (2000) Retinoids, Carotenoids, and Human Breast Cancer Cell Cultures: A Review of Differential Effects. Nutrition Reviews, 58, 170-176.
[30] Yu, J., Han, W., Kim, J., Lee, J., Ko, E., Kim, E., Moon, H. and Noh, D. (2009) Anoikis-Resistant MDA-MB-231 Cells: Characteristics and Pathway Analysis. Cancer Research, 69, 2062.

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.