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Oncotarget. 2015 Aug 14;6(23):19514-27.

Citrus limon-derived nanovesicles inhibit cancer cell proliferation and suppress CML xenograft growth by inducing TRAIL-mediated cell death.

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Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università degli Studi di Palermo, sezione di Biologia e Genetica, Palermo, Italy.
Laboratorio di Ingegneria Tissutale - Piattaforme Innovative per l'Ingegneria Tissutale (PON01-00829), Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Palermo, Italy.
Istituto di Biofisica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Palermo, Italy.


Nanosized vesicles are considered key players in cell to cell communication, thus influencing physiological and pathological processes, including cancer. Nanovesicles have also been found in edible-plants and have shown therapeutic activity in inflammatory bowel diseases; however information on their role in affecting cancer progression is missing.Our study identify for the first time a fraction of vesicles from lemon juice (Citrus limon L.), obtained as a result of different ultracentrifugation, with density ranging from 1,15 to 1,19 g/ml and specific proteomic profile. By using an in vitro approach, we show that isolated nanovesicles inhibit cancer cell proliferation in different tumor cell lines, by activating a TRAIL-mediated apoptotic cell death. Furthermore, we demonstrate that lemon nanovesicles suppress CML tumor growth in vivo by specifically reaching tumor site and by activating TRAIL-mediated apoptotic cell processes. Overall, this study suggests the possible use of plant-edible nanovesicles as a feasible approach in cancer treatment.


Citrus limon L.; TRAIL-mediated cell death; cancer; exosome-like nanovesicles

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