The genus Paeonia has gained great interest from the scientific community for exploration as a source of bioactive compounds. The current work focused on the chemical characterisation and biological properties of Paeonia mascula L. from Turkey. The chemical characterisation of the extracts was analysed by LC-DAD-ESI and LC-APCI-MS. The antioxidant, enzyme inhibitory and anticancer properties were evaluated in vitro. The methanol extract was the most effective as antioxidant, metal chelator and was the most effective inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and tyrosinase. The chloroform extract showed highest inhibition of butrylcholinesterase (BChE) and amylase. Ethyl acetate extract displayed glucosidase inhibition. The most abundant compounds were hexagalloyl glucose, penta galloyl glucose, gallic acid, tetragalloyl glucose, paeoniflorin and the most abundant flavonoid was quercetin-3-O-glucoside. β-sitosterol was the most abundant phytosterol. The anticancer effect of P. mascula was evaluated by using HELA cells evaluating different pathways. The possible inhibition effect of P. mascula on the reactive oxygen species (ROS) pathway was controlled by performing the advanced glycation end product (AGE). To determine the effect of P. mascula on active molecular pathways in the HELA cancer cell line, the levels of Phospho-NF-Kβ p65, AGE receptor RAGE protein, antiapoptotic BCL-2, proapoptotic BAX and P-53 proteins were checked, respectively. Phospho-NF-Kβ p65, RAGE and BCL-2, which are both ROS inducers and play an active role in cancer prognosis, were found to have decreased levels after the application of P. mascula. Our findings provide a scientific basis for Paeonia mascula, which may serve as a source of naturally occurring bioactive compounds for healthpromoting applications.
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