Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 65–79

Selective Cytotoxicity of a Red Grape Wine Flavonoid Fraction Against MCF-7 Cells

  • Fatima Hakimuddin
  • Gopinadhan Paliyath
  • Kelly Meckling

DOI: 10.1023/B:BREA.0000021048.52430.c0

Cite this article as:
Hakimuddin, F., Paliyath, G. & Meckling, K. Breast Cancer Res Treat (2004) 85: 65. doi:10.1023/B:BREA.0000021048.52430.c0


Red wine is a rich source of polyphenolic components such as anthocyanins and flavonoids. The inhibitory effects of red wine polyphenolics on human breast cancer cells have been demonstrated earlier, but their effects on normal cells have not been fully established. Red wine (Merlot) was fractionated by hydrophobic interaction chromatography and different flavonoid fractions with increasing hydrophobicity were obtained. These fractions were tested for their inhibitory effect on human breast cancer cells (MCF-7), normal human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC), and a non-tumorigenic MCF-10A cell line. By contrast to the authentic flavonoids such as quercetin, naringenin and catechin which inhibited the growth of HMEC much more than that of MCF-7 cancer cells, a red wine fraction, that was comprised mainly of the flavonoid aglycones, showed maximal inhibition of the growth of breast cancer cells, with relatively low cytotoxicity towards HMEC and MCF-10A cells. In the presence of this flavonoid fraction, the normal cells grew normally, whereas the breast cancer cells underwent a change in morphology into spherical forms. Cytotoxicity analyses suggested that these cells had become apoptotic. The efficiency of inhibition of cell proliferation by various flavonoid fractions appeared to be related to their inhibition of calcium and calmodulin-promoted phosphodiesterase activity, suggesting that flavonoids may interfere with calcium second messenger function. The results suggest that certain grape wine ingredients have anticancer properties and these ingredients may be helpful for developing designer functional foods with cancer-preventive properties.

breast cancer calmodulin flavonoids HMEC MCF-7 MCF-10A red wine 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatima Hakimuddin
    • 1
  • Gopinadhan Paliyath
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kelly Meckling
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Food ScienceUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Department of Plant AgricultureUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  3. 3.Department of Human Biology and Nutritional SciencesUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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