Ferreira P, Cardoso T, Ferreira F, Fernandes-Ferreira M, Piper P, Sousa MJ
FEMS Yeast Research, 2014
Mentha piperita, also known as peppermint, is an aromatic and medicinal plant widely used in the food industry, perfumery and cosmetic, pharmacy and traditional medicine. Its essential oil displays antimicrobial activity against a range of bacteria and fungi. In the present study, we found that Mentha piperita essential oil lethal cytotoxicity is associated with increased levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial fragmentation and chromatin condensation, without loss of the plasma membrane integrity, indicative of an apoptotic process. Overexpression of cytosolic catalase and superoxide dismutases reverted the lethal effects of the essential oil and of its major component menthol. Conversely, deficiency in Sod1p (cytosolic copper-zinc-superoxide dismutase) greatly increased sensitivity to both agents, but deficiency in Sod2p (mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase) only induced sensitivity under respiratory growth conditions. Mentha piperita essential oil increased the frequency of respiratory deficient mutants indicative of damage to the mitochondrial genome, although increase in mitochondrial thiol oxidation does not seem to be involved in the essential oil toxicity.
Ferreira P, Cardoso T, Ferreira F, et al. Mentha piperita essential oil induces apoptosis in yeast associated with both cytosolic and mitochondrial ROS-mediated damage. FEMS Yeast Res. 2014;doi:10.1111/1567-1364.12189.