Limonin and Its Glucoside from Citrus Can Inhibit Colon Cancer: Evidence from In Vitro Studies Academic Article uri icon


  • Phytochemicals present in citrus fruits, such as triterpenoids and related bitter compounds were of great concern to citrus industries during last decade due to their unpleasant taste. These same compounds are gaining importance during recent years, due to their proven benefits in prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. Both limonin and its glucoside isolated and purified (purity of >99%) from Citrus aurantium L. seeds, were subjected to proliferation inhibitory activity of cultured human colon adenocarcinoma cells (SW480). Limonin has shown significant inhibitory activity at 25 μM concentration, with inhibition of cancer cell proliferation by 42, 58 and 67% after 24, 48 and 72 Hrs of incubation, respectively. However the activity was not increased proportionately at 50 and 100 μM (67.8 and 68.9% after 72 hrs). On the other hand, inhibitory effect of Limonin glucoside (LG) was significant at 6.25μM concentration (inhibition of 61% after 24 hrs). Inhibition of proliferatation by 77% was observed in cells incubated with 100 μM LG for 72 Hrs. These results were also confirmed by content of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leached by cells following treatment with compounds to medium indicating cytotoxicity. Compounds treated at 100μM have shown DNA fragmentation of 200bp indicating apoptosis induction to cytotoxicity. The results of the current study indicates oxygenated terpenoids limonin and its glucoside may help in prevention of colon cancer. Further investigations are necessary to understand the possible mechanism of colon cancer prevention.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Murthy, K., Jayaprakasha, G. K., & Patil, B. S.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Murthy, KN Chidambara||Jayaprakasha, GK||Patil, Bhimanagouda S

publication date

  • August 2009