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Toxicol Rep. 2015 Jul 13;2:1014-1018. doi: 10.1016/j.toxrep.2015.06.011. eCollection 2015.

Evaluating the cytotoxicity of flaxseed orbitides for potential cancer treatment.

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Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada.
Drug Discovery and Development Research Group, College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, University of Saskatchewan, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5, Canada.
Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C9, Canada.


Flaxseed as well as its oil component possess antitumor activities against different types of cancer and have been used by some patients as complementary and/or alternative medicine. Linoorbitides (LOBs) are one family of flaxseed compounds that has implications for anticancer and antioxidant activity. The cytotoxicity of [1-9-NαC]-linusorb-B3 (LOB3), [1-9-NαC]-linusorb-B2 (LOB2), [1-9-NαC],[1-Rs,Ss-MetO]-linusorb-B2 ([MetO]-LOB2) and [1-8-NαC],[1-Rs,Ss-MetO]-linusorb-B1 ([MetO]-LOB1) was measured against human breast cancer Sk-Br-3 and MCF7 cell lines and melanoma A375 cell line. Overall cytotoxicity is cell-type specific. It scales as the hydrophobicity and concentration of the LOBs with the most abundant LOB3 being the most cytotoxic. Oral administration of LOB3 as a potential therapeutic agent might not be applicable as a much too high and/or frequent dose would be required to achieve a serum concentration of 400-500 μg/mL due to bioavailability and pharmacokinetic factors. However, LOB3 may be suitable for topical treatment formulations or as a lead compound in developing anticancer LOB derivatives.


Breast cancer; Cytotoxicity; Flaxseed linoorbitide; Melanoma

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