Synthesis, Characterization and Evaluation of Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Potential of Annona muricata Root Extract-derived Biogenic Silver Nanoparticles


Eco-friendly synthesis of biogenic silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) employing plants is becoming increasingly attractive for biomedical applications including cancer diagnosis and treatment. The present study deals with the biosynthesis of AgNPs using root extract from Annona muricata (AMR), optimization of physico-chemical parameters for the effective synthesis and evaluation of their antioxidant and cytotoxic potential. UV–Vis / FTIR spectroscopy, XRD, FESEM and EDX techniques confirmed the surface plasmon resonance at 440 nm of the crystalline, spherical AgNPs capped with phytoconstituents. AMRAgNPs exhibited strong antioxidant activity also showed selective cytotoxicity against HCT116, without affecting growth of normal human lymphocytes and erythrocytes. Light, fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy revealed apoptosis-related cytomorphological alterations and increase in ROS levels whilst clonogenic assay confirmed reduction in colony formation capacity in AMRAgNPs treated cells. Flow cytometric analysis revealed increase in the sub-G1cell population indicative of apoptosis induction. The expression profile of the apoptosis-associated genes, PUMA, caspase-3, -8, -9, Bax and Bcl-2 obtained through qRT-PCR, combined with the presence of p53 and p21, cleaved PARP, caspase-3, -9, on western blots unambiguously confirmed occurrence of mitochondrial apoptosis. The present study highlights the selective apoptogenic activity of the A.muricata root extract-derived AgNPs which can serve as a potent anticancer agent for colon cancer.

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The authors would like to thank the National Institute of Technology, Calicut, for use of EDX facility. Thanks are also due to our sister departments of Chemistry and Physics and Central Sophisticated Instruments Facility, University of Calicut, for allowing use of facilities to carry out FTIR, XRD and SEM analysis and Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Thiruvananthapuram for allowing use of their FACS facility. VSS acknowledges financial support from Calicut University by way of Research fellowship.

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Correspondence to P. R. Manish Kumar.

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The blood samples used for hemolytic assay and isolation of lymphocytes for lymphocyte culture and MTT assay was willingly self-donated. It may be noted that according to the Indian Council for Medical Research, New Delhi, India, Chapter-II, page no. 1-12, the ethical approval for this research was not deemed to be necessary. According to this guideline, proposals which present less than minimal risks are exempted from the ethical review process.

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. Effect of physico-chemical parameters on synthesis of biogenic AMRAgNPs (a) plant extract concentration (b) silver nitrate concentration (TIF 1126 kb)


. UV-vis spectra of AMRAgNPs measured at (a) temperature (b) different time intervals (c) varying pH conditions (pH 4.0- 9.0) (TIF 5784 kb)


. Effect of AMRAgNPs on HCT 116 cells. Cell viability was measured by MTT method after 48 h treatment Data shown as mean ±SD of three independent experiments (***P≤0.001, **P≤ 0.01, *P≤0.05) (TIF 3225 kb)


. Cytotoxicity evaluation of AMR extracts/AMRAgNPs on HCT cell lines. Values represent mean ± S.D. of three experiments; p* < 0.05 (TIF 2497 kb)

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Shaniba, V.S., Aziz, A.A., Joseph, J. et al. Synthesis, Characterization and Evaluation of Antioxidant and Cytotoxic Potential of Annona muricata Root Extract-derived Biogenic Silver Nanoparticles. J Clust Sci (2021).

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  • Annona muricata
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Colorectal carcinoma
  • Cytotoxicity
  • qRT-PCR