Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hilaire) saponins inhibit human colon cancer cell proliferation

Sirima Puangpraphant, Mark A. Berhow, Elvira De Mejia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ilex paraguariensis St. Hilaire tree is native to South America and its dried leaves are used to prepare a traditional beverage called Yerba Mate tea. The aim of this study was to assess the anticancer properties of yerba mate saponins in vitro models. HT-29 (p53 mutant) and RKO (wild type p53) cells were treated with mate saponins (1- 200 μM). Mate saponins inhibited HT-29 (IC50 = 202 μM) and RKO (IC50 = 181 μM) cell proliferation. Mate saponins arrested HT-29 and RKO cells at G1 to S phase by significantly upregulating p21 and p27 proteins, and caused apoptosis through induction of Bax:Bcl-2 protein expression. Mate saponins induced apoptosis and cytotoxicity in human colorectal cancer cells independent of p53 status. Yerba mate tea saponins inhibit human colon cancer cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHispanic Foods
Subtitle of host publicationChemistry and Bioactive Compounds
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780841227460
StatePublished - Nov 15 2012

Publication series

NameACS Symposium Series
ISSN (Print)0097-6156
ISSN (Electronic)1947-5918

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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