Evaluation of anticancer potential of sorghums with different genetic characteristics and levels of phenolic compounds
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To evaluate the anticancer potential of sorghum phenolic compounds, different experiments including in vitro and in vivo tests were performed. A set of 25 sorghum samples was evaluated for phenolic (total phenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins and tannins) content, hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidant capacity using de Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity assay (ORAC), and screened for citotoxic properties in mammary, colon and hepatic mammalian cancer cell lines in vitro. Results indicated that there was a wide variability in the phytochemical profile among the different sorghums. Among the 25 samples, sumac sorghum bran had the highest amount of phenolic compounds, flavonoids, tannins and the highest ORAC values. It exerted the highest percent inhibition (near 100%) in mammary, colon and liver cancer cell lines. Sumac sorghum bran was selected for further investigation. Methanolic extracts from sumac whole grain, bran and tannin removed bran were tested in vitro at different concentrations in hormone dependent MCF-7 mammary cancer cells and non hormone dependent Caco2 and HepG2 colon and liver cancer cells. Results indicated that the methanolic extract from sumac bran inhibited 100% of MCF-7 cancer cells at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml and that the citotoxic effect could be partially due to the tannin content of the extract. Concentrations of 0.5 and 1.5 mg/ml were selected for an in vivo preventive cancer study with 7,12-dymethylbenz(a)-anthracene (DMBA) induced female rats. Bran at low and high concentrations and the correspondent amount of methanol extracts were included in the diet. It was observed that sumac methanol extract at low concentration promoted tumor appearance and development, whereas sumac bran had a preventive effect, however, there were no significant differences in rats treated and un-treated with sumac. Differences between in vitro and in vivo results could be due to the degree of absorption of tannins during the in vivo experiment. To obtain additional data about the effect of sumac extracts on cancer development, a quinone reductase enzyme bioassay was performed. Methanol and hexane extracts from sumac bran induced phase II enzymes in vitro. Phytochemicals of sumac bran sorghum including phenolic compounds and lipid like compounds appeared to have potential for cancer prevention.
Guajardo Flores, Sara (2008). Evaluation of anticancer potential of sorghums with different genetic characteristics and levels of phenolic compounds. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from