Propolis is a resinous substance that is collected by Apis mellifera from plant sources and is used in traditional medicine. To study the phytochemical constituents and apoptotic potential of Jordanian propolis extract against different cancer cell lines, propolis was extracted using methanol, hexane, and ethyl acetate and was fractionated using chromatographic methods. Cytotoxicity was assessed using MTT and LDH assays. The apoptotic potential was investigated using florescence microscopy, multicaspase assay, Annexin-V and dead cell assay, and cell cycle assay. The phytochemical constituents were analyzed using GC-MS. The methanol extract of propolis exhibited cytotoxic potential against all cell lines tested. The IC50 values of the methanol extract were 47.4, 77.8, 91.2, and 145.0 μg/ml for HepG2, LoVo, MDAMB231, and MCF7 cell lines, respectively. The IC50 values of the F1 fraction were 31.6 (MDAMB231), 38.9 (HepG2), 36.7 (LoVo) and 75.5 (MCF7) μg/ml. On further purification using thin-layer chromatography, the IC50 values of the F1-3 fraction were found to be 84.31(HepG2), 79.2 (MCF7), 70.4 (LoVo), and 68.9 (MDAMB231) μg/ml, respectively. The anticancer potential of the F1 fraction was confirmed through the induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase. The GC-MS analysis of the F1 fraction revealed the presence of 3-methyl-4- isopropylphenol (29.44%) as a major constituent. These findings indicate the potential of propolis extract as a cancer therapy. However, further investigation is required to assess the acute and subacute toxicity of the most active fraction.
Propolis, chromatography, anticancer activity, apoptosis, chemical composition