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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 7865073, 13 pages
Research Article

Pitaya Extracts Induce Growth Inhibition and Proapoptotic Effects on Human Cell Lines of Breast Cancer via Downregulation of Estrogen Receptor Gene Expression

1Nutritional Biochemistry Core, Food and Nutrition Program, UNIRIO, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2Laboratory of Proliferation and Cell Differentiation, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
3Laboratory of Genomics, Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, UNIRIO, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
4Laboratory of Technology Natural Products, UEZO, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Anderson Junger Teodoro; moc.liamg@orodoetta

Received 13 January 2017; Revised 11 April 2017; Accepted 7 May 2017; Published 6 July 2017

Academic Editor: Elena Azzini

Copyright © 2017 Deborah de Almeida Bauer Guimarães et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in the world and is also the leading cause of cancer death in women. The use of bioactive compounds of functional foods contributes to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and vascular disorders. In this study, we evaluated the antioxidant potential and the influence of pitaya extract (PE) on cell viability, colony formation, cell cycle, apoptosis, and expression of BRCA1, BRCA2, PRAB, and Erα in breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-435). PE showed high antioxidant activity and high values of anthocyanins (74.65 ± 2.18). We observed a selective decrease in cell proliferation caused by PE in MCF-7 (ER+) cell line. Cell cycle analysis revealed that PE induced an increase in G0/G1 phase followed by a decrease in G2/M phase. Also, PE induced apoptosis in MCF-7 (ER+) cell line and suppressed BRCA1, BRCA2, PRAB, and Erα gene expression. Finally, we also demonstrate that no effect was observed with MDA-MB-435 cells (ER) after PE treatment. Taken together, the present study suggests that pitaya may have a protective effect against breast cancer.