J Nutr Health.  2023 Feb;56(1):12-23. 10.4163/jnh.2023.56.1.12.

Antiproliferative effect of Citrus junos extracts on A549 human non-smallcell lung cancer cells

  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
  • 2Division of Food and Nutrition, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea


This study investigates the alterations in A549 human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells exposed to Citrus junos extract (CJE). We further examine the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of CJE on NSCLC cells.
Inhibition of proliferation was examined by applying the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) colorimetric assay on CJE-treated A549 NSCLC cells. The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay was performed to measure the degree of toxicity of CJE on NSCLC cells. The effect on migratory proliferation was confirmed using the scratch wound healing assay. The antiproliferative effect of the CJE on human lung cancer cells was verified through morphological observation, fluorescence microscopy, and caspase-3 colorimetry.
Exposure of NSCLC cells to CJE resulted in a dose- and time-dependent decrease in cell activity and increased toxicity to the cells. In addition, microscopic observation revealed a reduced ability of the cancer cells to migrate and proliferate after exposure to the CJE, with simultaneous morphological apoptotic changes. Fluorescence staining and microscopic examination revealed that this death was a process of self-programmed cell death of NSCLC cells. Compared to unexposed NSCLC cells, the expression of caspase-3 was significantly increased in cells exposed to CJE.
Exposure of A549 human NSCLC cells to CJE inhibits the proliferation, increases the cytotoxicity, and decreases the ability of cells to migrate and grow. Moreover, the expression of caspase-3 increases after CJE treatment, suggesting that the apoptosis of NSCLC cells is induced by a chain reaction initiated by caspase-3. These results indicate that Citrus junos is a potential therapeutic agent for human non-small-cell lung cancer.


lung neoplasms; small cell lung carcinoma; apoptosis; citrus; fruit
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