In recent years, α-tomatine has been studied for its anticancer activity. In the present study, we focused on the cytotoxic effect of α-tomatine in the MCF-7 human breast adenocarcinoma cell line, its mechanism of action, biotransformation and stability in the culture medium. We observed an inhibition of cell proliferation and viability at concentrations of 6 and 9 μM but then a recovery of cells occurred. The recovery was not caused by the biotransformation of α-tomatine in MCF-7 cells, but by a substantial decrease in the concentration of α-tomatine in the culture medium due to its binding with cholesterol. Regarding the mechanism of action of α-tomatine, we observed no DNA damage, no changes in the levels of the proteins p53 and p21WAF1/Cip1, and no apoptosis (neither activated caspase-8 and -9, nor sub-G1 peak, or morphological signs). We found a loss of ATP in α-tomatine-treated cells. These results support the conclusion that α-tomatine does not induce apoptosis in the MCF-7 cell line.
Sucha, L., Hroch, M., Rezacova, M., Rudolf, E., Havelek, R., Sispera, L., … Tomsik, P. (2013). The cytotoxic effect of α-tomatine in MCF-7 human adenocarcinoma breast cancer cells depends on its interaction with cholesterol in incubation media and does not involve apoptosis induction. Oncology Reports, 30(6), 2593–2602. https://doi.org/10.3892/or.2013.2778