Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 2085–2092 | Cite as

Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of caffeic acid on SK-Mel-28 human melanoma cancer cells

  • Luana Paula Pelinson
  • Charles Elias Assmann
  • Taís Vidal Palma
  • Ivana Beatrice Mânica da Cruz
  • Micheli Mainardi Pillat
  • Aline Mânica
  • Naiara Stefanello
  • Grazielle Castagna Cezimbra Weis
  • Audrei de Oliveira Alves
  • Cinthia Melazzo de Andrade
  • Henning Ulrich
  • Vera Maria Melchiors Morsch
  • Maria Rosa Chitolina Schetinger
  • Margarete Dulce BagatiniEmail author
Original Article


Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is an extremely aggressive cancer presenting low survival and high mortality. The vast majority of patients affected by this disease does not respond or show resistance to the chemotherapeutic drugs, which makes the treatment ineffective. In this sense, the necessity for the development of new agents to assist in CM therapy is extremely important. One of the sources of great interest in this search are compounds of natural origin. Among these compounds, caffeic acid has demonstrated a broad spectrum of pharmacological activities as well as antitumor effects in some types of cancer. Therefore, the objective of this work was to investigate the possible antitumor effect of caffeic acid on the SK-Mel-28 cell line, human CM cells. Cells were cultured in flasks with culture medium containing fetal bovine serum, antibiotic, and antifungal, and maintained in ideal conditions. Cells were treated with 25 µM, 50 µM, 100 µM, 150 µM and 200 µM of caffeic acid and dacarbazine at 1 mg/mL. We verified the effect on cell viability and cell death, apoptosis, cell cycle, colony formation and gene expression of caspases. Results showed a decrease in cell viability, cell death induction by apoptosis, inhibition of colony formation, modulation of cell cycle and alterations in gene expression of caspases after caffeic acid treatment. These results suggest an antitumor effect of the compound on SK-Mel-28 cells. This study provides original information on mechanisms by which caffeic acid may play a key role in preventing tumor progression in human melanoma cells.


Melanoma Natural compounds Cytotoxicity Apoptosis Cell cycle Gene expression 



The authors would like to thank the financial support of CAPES [CAPES/PROEX—Process Numbers: 23038.005848/2018-31 and 88882.182142/2018-01] and CNPq [MDB Project. No. 449485/2014-5], Brazil. Funding sources are non-profit governmental agencies and had no role in study design, in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data, in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision for publication.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Infromed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luana Paula Pelinson
    • 1
  • Charles Elias Assmann
    • 1
  • Taís Vidal Palma
    • 2
  • Ivana Beatrice Mânica da Cruz
    • 3
  • Micheli Mainardi Pillat
    • 4
  • Aline Mânica
    • 1
  • Naiara Stefanello
    • 1
  • Grazielle Castagna Cezimbra Weis
    • 3
  • Audrei de Oliveira Alves
    • 3
  • Cinthia Melazzo de Andrade
    • 2
  • Henning Ulrich
    • 4
  • Vera Maria Melchiors Morsch
    • 1
  • Maria Rosa Chitolina Schetinger
    • 1
  • Margarete Dulce Bagatini
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.PPGBtox, CCNEFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of Oxidative BiochemistryFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratory of BiogenomicsFederal University of Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry, Institute of ChemistryUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  5. 5.Academic Coordination, Federal University of Fronteira SulChapecóBrazil

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