Aim and Objective: Origanum acutidens (Hand.–Mazz.) Ietsw. is an endemic and
perennial plant grown mainly in East Anatolia. Recently, natural plant products have attracted
interest due to their safety and therapeutic effects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate
phytochemical contents and biological effects of Origanum acutidens.
Materials and Methods: The aerial parts of O. acutidens were extracted with water, ethyl acetate, nbutanol,
and methanol/chloroform solvents. Phenolic compounds and other constituents of the
extracts were analyzed by HPLC/TOF-MS. The Ethyl Acetate extract (EA) was fractionated by flash
chromatography. The extracts and fractions were investigated for their antiproliferative activities on
human cervical adenocarcinoma (HeLa) cell line by using BrdU ELISA assay. Antioxidant activities
of the extracts and fractions were evaluated by complementary test systems, namely determination of
total phenolic contents, metal chelating ability and DPPH radical scavenging assay.
Results: Among the extracts, Ethyl Acetate extract (EA) exhibited the highest antiproliferative
activity (IC50 = 15.71 ± 0.04 µg/mL) on HeLa cells. It was therefore fractionated by flash
chromatography to obtain 10 fractions which were investigated for their phenolic compounds and
bioactivities. Rosmarinic acid was determined as the major component of EA and its fractions. EA
exhibited higher antiproliferative activity against HeLa cell line than its fractions and 5-fluorouracil
(5-FU) at the concentration of 100 µg/mL. EA and its fractions (F10, F6, F4, F7, F3, and F2)
displayed higher radical scavenging activity compared to Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). These
effects may be attributed to the presence of rosmarinic acid in EA and its active fractions.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that O. acutidens is an essential natural source of polyphenols
and a potent natural antioxidant and antiproliferative agent for food and pharmaceutical industries.