Cytotoxicity of Fenugreek Sprout and Seed Extracts and Their Bioactive Constituents on MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

Kholoud K. Khoja, Melanie Jayne R. Howes, Robert Hider, Paul A. Sharp, Iain W. Farrell, Gladys O. Latunde-Dada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (fenugreek), a member of the legume family (Fabaceae), is a promising source of bioactive phytochemicals, which explains its traditional use for a variety of metabolic disorders including cancer. The current study aimed to evaluate extracts of fenugreek seeds and sprouts, and some of their constituents, to compare their cytotoxic and antiproliferative activities in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The extracts were chemically characterised using high-resolution accurate mass liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry to reveal the detection of compounds assigned as flavone C-glycosides including those derived from apigenin and luteolin, in addition to isoflavones. Five different flavones or their glycosides (apigenin, vicenin-2, vitexin, luteolin and orientin) and two isoflavones (daidzein and formononetin) were quantified in the fenugreek extracts. The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay using MCF-7 cells treated with fenugreek methanolic extracts showed dose-and time-dependent effects on cell viability. The MCF-7 cancer cells treated with the fenugreek methanolic extracts also displayed increased relative mitochondrial DNA damage as well as suppressed metastasis and proliferation. This study demonstrates the potential anti-cancer effects of fenugreek seeds and sprouts and reveals fenugreek sprouts as an untapped resource for bioactive compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number784
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2022


  • Cancer
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Fenugreek
  • Iron
  • MCF-7


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