In vitro biological screening of the anticholinesterase and antiproliferative activities of medicinal plants belonging to Annonaceae

The aim of this research was to investigate the antiproliferative and anticholinesterase activities of 11 extracts from 5 Annonaceae species in vitro. Antiproliferative activity was assessed using 10 human cancer cell lines. Thin-layer chromatography and a microplate assay were used to screen the extracts for acetylcholinesterase (AchE) inhibitors using Ellman's reagent. The chemical compositions of the active extracts were investigated using high performance liquid chromatography. Eleven extracts obtained from five Annonaceae plant species were active and were particularly effective against the UA251, NCI-470 lung, HT-29, NCI/ADR, and K-562 cell lines with growth inhibition (GI50) values of 0.04-0.06, 0.02-0.50, 0.01-0.12, 0.10-0.27, and 0.02-0.04 µg/mL, respectively. In addition, the Annona crassiflora and A. coriacea seed extracts were the most active among the tested extracts and the most effective against the tumor cell lines, with GI50 values below 8.90 µg/mL. The A. cacans extract displayed the lowest activity. Based on the microplate assay, the percent AchE inhibition of the extracts ranged from 12 to 52%, and the A. coriacea seed extract resulted in the greatest inhibition (52%). Caffeic acid, sinapic acid, and rutin were present at higher concentrations in the A. crassiflora seed samples. The A. coriacea seeds contained ferulic and sinapic acid. Overall, the results indicated that A. crassiflora and A. coriacea extracts have antiproliferative and anticholinesterase properties, which opens up new possibilities for alternative pharmacotherapy drugs.