Journal of
Medicinal Plants Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Med. Plants Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0875
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMPR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 3834

Full Length Research Paper

Determination of saikosaponin, phenolic and podophyllotoxin contents of five endemic Bupleurum root extracts and their effects on MCF-7 cells

Gökhan Kars1*, Meltem Demirel Kars2,3, Mehtap Akin1, Hatice Taner SaraçoÄŸlu1and Ufuk Gündüz4
1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Selçuk University, 42075 Konya, Turkey. 2Sarayönü Vocational High School, Selçuk University, 42430 Konya, Turkey. 3Advanced Research and Application Center, Selçuk University, 42075 Konya, Turkey. 4Department of Biological Sciences, Middle East Technical University, 06531 Ankara, Turkey.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 December 2011
  •  Published: 09 February 2012


Bupleurum species are among the plants used in Chinese medicine for phytotherapy. Various compounds obtained from plants have been found to exhibit anticancer activity. In this study, phenolic compounds, saikosaponins and podohyllotoxin contents of total root extracts from endemic Bupleurum species (Bupleurum sulphureum, Bupleurum lycaonicum, Bupleurum turcicum, Bupleurum heldreichii, Bupleurum pauciradiatum) were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Total phenol content and free radical scavenging activities of total extracts were also identified. Finally, the effects of plant root extracts on viability of P-gp overexpressing paclitaxel resistant (MCF-7/Pac) and vincristine resistant (MCF-7/Vinc) MCF-7 mammary carcinoma cell lines and their parental line (MCF-7/S) were evaluated by cytotoxicity tests. Results showed that saikosaponin A, saikosaponin D and isoquercitrin contents of the root extracts were higher compared to podophyllotoxin, catechin and quercetin. While, B. lycaonicum root extract has about 1.5 fold more total phenol content with respect to others, Bturcium root extract has the highest free radical scavenging activity. According to cytotoxicity tests, B. turcicum and B. pauciradiatum root extracts were more toxic to the MCF-7/Pac cell line than the root extracts of other three species.  In addition, B. heldrechii extract has been found to be the most toxic to the MCF-7/Vinc cell line among the others.


Key words: Bupleurum species, plant phenolics, saikosaponin, podophyllotoxin, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), MCF-7.