Antimicrobial, antioxidant, cytotoxic and apoptotic activities of Satureja khuzestanica

  • Hossein Soltanzadeh Department of Biology, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Leyla Acik Department of Biology, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
  • Mustafa Türk Department of Bioengineering, Kırıkkale University, Kırıkkale, Turkey
  • Massoud Houshmand Department of Medical Genetics, National Institut of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Tehran, Iran
  • Gholamreza Shahsavari Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran
Keywords: Satureja khuzestanica, plasmid DNA, MCF-7, cytotoxicity


Objective: Natural products with antimicrobial effect are currently investigated in order to eliminate the use of synthetic antibiotics that cause the resistance of microorganisms. This study determines the antibacterial, antioxidant activity, and also the cytotoxic and apoptotic effect of Satureja khuzestanica on various cancer cell lines. Materials and methods: The individual constituents were identified by their identical retention indices referring to known compounds from the literature. Methanol and ethanol extracts of S. khuzestanica (25 and 50 mg/mL) were screened against four Gram-positive and four Gram-negative bacteria. The plant extracts were tested for their antioxidant activity against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. The interaction between the extracts and plasmid DNA were analyzed by agarose gel electrophoresis. In addition, the cytotoxic activity of the extracts was evaluated on MCF-7, DLD-1, osteosarcoma, and fibroblast cell line. Finally, gene expression of caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2 were investigated by real-time PCR. Results: Our result indicated that both extracts showed good inhibitory activity against both Gram-negative (Escherichia coli ATCC 35218) and positive (Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633) bacteria. In addition, the methanol extract of S. khuzestanica had strong antioxidant activity (IC50=37.0±0.3 μg/mL). The extracts showed a strong effect on plasmid DNA. The methanol extract of S. khuzestanica showed a good concentration-dependent cytotoxicity. Finally, IC50=47.00a±1.21μg/mL, ethanol, and water extract had apoptotic effect in MCF-7 cell line. Discussion: MCF-7 was detected as the most sensitive cell line therefore further studies should be done on this plant extract as a potential anticancer agent against breast cancer.


Cai Y, Luo Q, Sun M, Corke H. Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds of 112 traditional Chinese medicinal plants associated with anticancer. Life Sciences 2004; 74: 2157-84.

Mihajilov-Krstev T, D Radnovic D, Kitic Z. Stojanovic-Radic, B. Zlatkovic. Antimicrobial activity of Satureja hortensis L. essential oil against pathogenic microbial strains. Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment 2009; 23: 1492-6.

Heidari Sureshjani, M. Antimicrobial effect of Satureja bachtiarica extracts aqueous, ethanol, methanol and glycerin on Streptococcus pyogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Scientific Journal of Microbiology 2013; 2: 53-60.

Matan N, Rimkeeree H, Mawson AJ, Chompreeda P, Haruthaithanasan V, Parker M. Antimicrobial activity of cinnamon and clove oils under modified atmosphere conditions. International journal of food microbiology 2006; 107: 180-5.

Kan Y, Sait UC, Kartal M, Altun L, Aslan S, Sayar E, Ceyhan T. GC-MS analysis and antibacterial activity of cultivated Satureja cuneifolia Ten. essential oil. Turkish Journal of Chemistry 2006; 30: 253-9.

Azaz D, Demirci F, Satıla F, Kürkçüoğlu M, Başer HC. Antimicrobial activity of some Satureja essential oils." Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C 2002; 57: 817-21.

Boyraz N, Özcan M. Inhibition of phytopathogenic fungi by essential oil, hydrosol, ground material and extract of summer savory (Satureja hortensis L.) growing wild in Turkey. International journal of food microbiology 2006; 107: 238-42.

Bezić N, Šamanić I, Dunkıc V, Besendorfer V, Puizinal J. Essential oil composition and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence variability of four South-Croatian Satureja species (Lamiaceae). Molecules 2009; 14: 925-38.

Abad M, Bermejo P, Gonzales E, Iglesias I, Irurzun A, Carrasco L. Antiviral activity of Bolivian plant extracts. General Pharmacology 2008; 32: 499-503.

Sonboli A, Fakhari A, Kanani MR, Yousefzadi M. Antimicrobial activity, essential oil composition and micromorphology of trichomes of Satureja laxiflora C. Koch from Iran. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C 2004; 59: 777-81.

Yamasaki K, Nakona M, Takuya K, Mori H, Otake T et al. Anti-HIV-1 activity of herbs in Labiatae. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 1998; 21: 829-33.

Tumbas V, Djilas S. Antioxidative and antiproliferative effects of Satureja montana L. extracts. Journal of BUON 2004; 9: 443-9.

Mustafa F, Behravan J, Karimi G, Iranshahi M. Antigenotoxic effects of Satureja hortensis L on rat lymphocytes exposed to oxidative stress. Arch Pharm Res 2006; 29: 159-64.

Lampronti I, Saab AM, Gambari R. Antiproliferative activity of essential oils derived from plants belonging to the Magnoliophyta division. International journal of oncology 2006; 29: 989-95.

Hung HY, Qian K, Morris-Natschke SL, Hsu CS, Lee KH. Recent discovery of plant-derived anti-diabetic natural products. Natural product reports 2012; 29: 580-606.

Tampieri MP, Galuppi R, Macchioni F, Carelle MS, Falcioni L, Cioni PL, et al. The inhibition of Candida albicans by selected essential oils and their major components. Mycopathologia 2005; 159: 339-45.

Hajhashemi V, Ghannadi A, Pezeshkian SK. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Satureja hortensis L. extracts and essential oil. Journal of ethnopharmacology 2002; 82: 83-7.

Van Baren C, Anao I, Leo Di Lira P, Debenedetti S, Houghton P, et al. Triterpenic acids and flavonoids from Satureja parvifolia. Evaluation of their antiprotozoal activity. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C 2006; 61: 189-92.

Ramón Sánchez de Rojas V, Somoza B, Ortega T, Villar AM, Tejerina T. Vasodilatory effect in rat aorta of eriodictyol obtained from Satureja obovata. Planta Medica 1999; 65: 234-8.

Ramos S. Cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy: dietary polyphenols and signalling pathways." Molecular nutrition & food research 2008; 52: 507-26.

de Sousa RR, Queiroz KC, Souza AC, Gurgueira SA, Augusto AC, Miranda MA, et al. Phosphoprotein levels, MAPK activities and NFκB expression are affected by fisetin. Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry 2007; 22: 439-44.

Abdollahi M, Salehnia A, Mortazavi SH, Ebrahimi M, Shafiee A, Fouladian F, et al. Antioxidant, antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic, reproduction stimulatory properties and safety of essential oil of Satureja khuzestanica in rat in vivo: a toxicopharmacological study. Medical Science Monitor 2003; 9: BR331-5.

Vosough-Ghanbari S, Rahimi R, Kharabaf S, Zeinali S, Mohammadirad A, Amini S, et al. Effects of Satureja khuzestanica on serum glucose, lipids and markers of oxidative stress in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2010; 7: 465-70.

Linehan WM, Walther MM, Zbar B. The genetic basis of cancer of the kidney. The Journal of Urology 2003; 170: 2163-72.

Okumuş A, Akbas H, Kılıç Z, Koç LY, Açık L, Aydın B. et al. Phosphorus–nitrogen compounds part 33: in vitro cytotoxic and antimicrobial activities, DNA interactions, syntheses, and structural investigations of new mono (4-nitrobenzyl) spirocyclotriphosphazenes. Research on Chemical Intermediates 2016; 42: 1-31.

Suárez A, Echandi MM, Ulate G, Cicció JF. Pharmacological activity of the essential oil of Satureja viminea (Lamiaceae). Revista de biología tropical 2003; 51: 247-52.

Jorabi N, Ghaneian MT, Jebali A, Hekmatimoghaddam S, Ehrampoush MH, Mosleharani A. The Antimicrobial activity of essential oil of Zataria multiflora Boiss and Satureja khuzestanica and their stability. Journal of Community Health Research 2014; 3: 232-41.

Sülsen V, Güida C, Coussio J, Paveto C, Muschietti L, Martino V. In vitro evaluation of trypanocidal activity in plants used in Argentine traditional medicine. Parasitology research 2006; 98: 370-4.

Stepe V. Cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity of Satureja kitaibelii wierzb. Ex heuff (Lamiaceae). Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures 2013: 8: 845 -54

Kilani S, Ben Sghaier M, Limem I, Bouhlel I, Boubaker J, Bhouri W et al. In vitro evaluation of antibacterial, antioxidant, cytotoxic and apoptotic activities of the tubers infusion and extracts of Cyperus rotundus. Bioresource technology 2008; 99: 9004-8.

Vattem DA, Lin YT, Labbe RG, Shetty K. Antimicrobial activity against select food-borne pathogens by phenolic antioxidants enriched in cranberry pomace by solid-state bioprocessing using the food grade fungus Rhizopus oligosporus. Process Biochemistry 2004; 39: 1939-46.

Literature Review With Cases