Comparative study of the chemical composition and anti-proliferative activities of the aerial parts and roots of Apium graveolens L. (celery) and their biogenic nanoparticles

Shereen Sayed Taha Ahmed, John Refaat Fahim*, Khayrya A. Youssif, Mohamed N. Amin, Hossam M.H. Abdel-Aziz, Ibrahim A. Khadra, Mostafa E. Rateb, Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen, Ashraf Nageeb Elsayed Hamed*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Apiaceae plants are multipurpose folk remedies and bioactive foods that show a remarkable ability to biosynthesize a large number of secondary metabolites with antitumor and chemopreventive potential. Among the various members of the Apiaceae, celery (Apium graveolens L.) has long been used as a popular edible and medicinal plant owing to its plentiful health benefits and nutraceutical properties; however, the anticancer potential of this important species has been seldom studied, mostly focusing on its seeds. Therefore, this work was designed to delve into the chemical composition and anti-proliferative potential of the total ethanolic extracts of the aerial parts (TEEAGA) and roots (TEEAGR) of A. graveolens var. dulce (Mill.) Pers. as well as their green synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). In general, both TEEAGA and TEEAGR exhibited moderate to potent inhibitory activities against human liver (HepG-2), colon (Caco-2), and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines, with interesting IC50 profiles [(41.37 ± 0.12, 27.65 ± 0.27, and 9.48 ± 0.04 μg/mL) and (11.58 ± 0.02, 7.13 ± 0.03, and 6.58 ± 0.02 μg/mL), respectively] as compared with doxorubicin, while more pronounced anti-proliferative effects were observed for their biogenic AgNPs, which showed IC50 values ranging between 25.41 ± 0.16 and 1.37 ± 0.03 μg/mL. Moreover, HPLC‒HESI‒HRMS-based metabolomics analysis of both extracts showed the presence of a varied group of secondary metabolites, including flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, phthalides, coumarins, and sesquiterpenes that further displayed moderate to promising binding affinities to the active site of cyclin G-associated kinase (GAK), particularly graveobioside A, graveobioside B, and celeroside C, suggesting their possible contribution as GAK modulators to the anti-proliferative potential of celery. These findings can help broaden future research on the utilization of different parts of celery and their NPs as functional foods and medicines in cancer chemoprevention and therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalSouth African Journal of Botany
Issue numberPart B
Early online date20 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2022


  • anti-proliferative activity
  • Apium graveolens (celery)
  • biogenic nanoparticles
  • chemoprevention
  • functional goods
  • metabolomics analysis
  • nutraceuticals


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