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J Agric Food Chem. 2004 May 19;52(10):2832-9.

Glycoalkaloids and metabolites inhibit the growth of human colon (HT29) and liver (HepG2) cancer cells.

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  • 1College of Human Ecology and Kinesiology, Yeungnam University, Gyongsan 712-749, Korea.


As part of an effort to improve plant-derived foods such as potatoes, eggplants, and tomatoes, the antiproliferative activities against human colon (HT29) and liver (HepG2) cancer cells of a series of structurally related individual compounds were examined using a microculture tetrazolium (MTT) assay. The objective was to assess the roles of the carbohydrate side chain and aglycon part of Solanum glycosides in influencing inhibitory activities of these compounds. Evaluations were carried out with four concentrations each (0.1, 1, 10, and 100 microg/mL) of the the potato trisaccharide glycoalkaloids alpha-chaconine and alpha-solanine; the disaccharides beta(1)-chaconine, beta(2)-chaconine, and beta(2)-solanine; the monosaccharide gamma-chaconine and their common aglycon solanidine; the tetrasaccharide potato glycoalkaloid dehydrocommersonine; the potato aglycon demissidine; the tetrasaccharide tomato glycoalkaloid alpha-tomatine, the trisaccharide beta(1)-tomatine, the disaccharide gamma-tomatine, the monosaccharide delta-tomatine, and their common aglycon tomatidine; the eggplant glycoalkaloids solamargine and solasonine and their common aglycon solasodine; and the nonsteroidal alkaloid jervine. All compounds were active in the assay, with the glycoalkaloids being the most active and the hydrolysis products less so. The effectiveness against the liver cells was greater than against the colon cells. Potencies of alpha-tomatine and alpha-chaconine at a concentration of 1 microg/mL against the liver carcinoma cells were higher than those observed with the anticancer drugs doxorubicin and camptothecin. Because alpha-chaconine, alpha-solanine, and alpha-tomatine also inhibited normal human liver HeLa (Chang) cells, safety considerations should guide the use of these compounds as preventative or therapeutic treatments against carcinomas.

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