Hempseed protein hydrolysates’ effects on the proliferation and induced oxidative stress in normal and cancer cell lines

  • Marijan Logarušić
  • Igor Slivac
  • Kristina Radošević
  • Martina Bagović
  • Ivana Radojčić Redovniković
  • Višnja Gaurina SrčekEmail author
Original Article


Food proteins from different sources can provide beneficial effects on human health by releasing the bioactive peptides that are integral part of their native structure. In this study, we tested the biological potential of hempseed protein hydrolysates (HPHs) obtained from hempseed cake protein isolate. The HPHs were prepared by enzyme hydrolysis using three different proteases of microbial origin: Alcalase®, Neutrase® and Protamex®. The antioxidant activity of the obtained hydrolysates was determined by oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay, while the proliferative effects on normal (HaCaT) and cancer (HeLa) cells were determined by the CellTiter 96® AQueous One Solution Reagent (MTS) assay. HPHs showed dose-dependent antiproliferative effects on HeLa cells and stimulatory effects on the proliferation of HaCaT cells. HPH obtained by Neutrase® (HPH-N) showed the highest antioxidant activity expressed as an ORAC value. The protective effect of HPH-N on H2O2-induced oxidative stress in normal and cancer cells was evaluated and 1 mg/mL of HPH-N significantly reduced the formation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in both cell lines. The obtained results indicate the benefits of HPHs as potential natural antioxidants for the food industry and contribute to the growing trend of utilizing hempseed by-products.


Antioxidant activity Antiproliferative effects Hempseed protein hydrolysates ORAC value 



This work was supported by the Croatian Science Foundation HRZZ (Grant No. IP-2016-06-3848).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Cell Technology and Biotransformation, Faculty of Food Technology and BiotechnologyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

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