Image description

Published yearly: 

4 Issues


ISSN: 2320-964X (Online) 

ISSN: 2320-7817  (Print)



Dr. Santosh Pawar 




Int. Journal of Life Sciences, 2018; 6(4): 895-904      |                 Available online, December 22, 2018

In-vitro evaluation of antiproliferative activity of Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass) against lung cancer


Mallikarjunaiah Shanthala, Pattabhiramaiah Mahesh*, Maimom Preety, Chaitra GS and Diwan Nupur


Centre for Applied Genetics, Department of Zoology, Bangalore University, Bangalore-, 560056, India

*Corresponding author Dr. P.Mahesh, Centre for Applied Genetics,Department of Zoology, Bangalore University, Bangalore, 560056, India

Email   |   Phone : 9916130942



Received: 25.01.2018    |   Revised: 07.04.2018   |  Accepted: 03.12.2018   |   Published: 22.12.2018

The present study describes the phytochemical and anticancer activity of Cymbopogon citratus (Lemon grass) extracts on lung cancer CALU6 cell line. The phytochemical analysis revealed that Cymbopogon citratus consists of alkaloids, tannins, terpenoids, saponins and flavanoids. The antiproliferative activity of C. citratus exhibited an IC50 value of 134.0µg/ml on lung cancer CALU6 cell line. The gene expression study was conducted on caspase 3, caspase 8 & β actin revealed that C. citratus was found to suppress the expression of Caspase-3 and Caspase-8 genes but is more effective in the treatment of lung cancer because of inhibition of cell proliferation occurred through Caspase-independent pathway.


Key words: Cymbopogon citratus, CALU6 cell line, phytochemicals, antiproliferative activity, Caspases.



Editor: Dr.Arvind Chavhan


Cite this article as:

Mallikarjunaiah Shanthala, Pattabhiramaiah Mahesh, Maimom Preety, Chaitra GS and Diwan Nupur (2018) In-vitro evaluation of antiproliferative activity of Cymbopogon citratus (lemon grass) against lung cancer. Int. J. of. Life Sciences, Volume 6(4): 895-904. 


Conflicts of interest: The authors stated that no conflicts of interest.



Copyright: © 2018 | Author(s), This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial - No Derives License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


Agarwal BB and Shishodia S (2006) Molecular targets of dietary agents for prevention and therapy of cancer. Biochemical Pharmacology, 71: 1397–1421.

Alberg AJ, Brock MV and Samet JM (2016)  Epidemiology of lung cancer - Murray &    Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine (6th ed.). Saunders Elsevier, Chapter 52,  pp: 5.

Asaolu MF, Oyeyemi OA and Olanlokun JO (2009) Chemical Composition, Phytochemical Constituents and in vitro Biological Activity of Various Extracts of Cymbopogon citratus. Pak. J. Nutr., 8(12): 1920-1922.

Bachran C, Bachran S, Sutherland M, Bachran D and Fuchs H (2008) Saponins in tumor therapy. Mini. Rev. Med. Chem., 8: 575-584.

Bawadi HA, Bansode RR, Trappey II A, Truax RE and Losso JN (2005) Inhibition of Caco-2 colon, MCF-7 and Hs578T breast and DU 145 prostatic cancer cell proliferation by water-soluble black bean condensed tannins. Cancer Lett., 218: 153-162.

Beit-Yannai E, Ben-Shabat S, Goldschmidt N, Chapagain BP, Liu RH and Wiesman Z (2011)  Antiproliferative activity of steroidal saponins from Balanites aegyptiaca: An in vitro study. Phytochem. Lett., 4: 43-47.

Carocho M and Ferreira IC (2013) A review on antioxidants, pro-oxidants and related controversy: Natural and synthetic compounds, screening and analysis methodologies and future perspectives.  Food Chem. Toxicol., 51: 15-25.

Chahar MK, Sharma N, Dobhal MP and Joshi YC (2011)  Flavonoids: a versatile source of anticancer drugs. Pharmacogn. Rev., 5: 1–12. 

Dudai N, Weinstein Y, Krup M, Rabinski T and Ofir R (2005) Citral is a new inducer of  caspase-3 in tumor cell lines. Planta. Medica., 71(5): 484–488. 

Fulda S (2010) Modulation of apoptosis by natural products for cancer therapy. Planta Med., 76: 1075-1079.

Gutheil WG, Reed G, Ray A, Dhar A and Crocetin (2012) An Agent Derived from Saffron for Prevention and Therapy for Cancer. Curr. Pharm. Biotechnol.,  13(1): 173–179.

Harborne JB (1973) Phytochemical methods: A guide to modern techniques of plant analysis. Chapman and Hall Ltd London, pp 279.

Hecht SS (2012) Lung carcinogenesis by tobacco smoke. International Journal of Cancer, 131 (12):  2724–2732.

Huang M, Lu JJ, Huang MQ, Bao JL, Chen XP and Wang YT (2012) Terpenoids: natural  products for cancer therapy. Expert Opin Invest. Dru., 21: 1801–1818.

Kaefer CM and Milner JA (2008) The role of herbs and spices in cancer prevention. J.Nutr.   Biochem.,  19: 347–361. 

Karthik Mohan R, Jeyachandran and Deepa (2012) Alkaloids as anticancer agents. Ann. Phytomed., 1(1): 46-53.

Kinghorn AD (2000) Plant Secondary Metabolites as Potential Anticancer Agents and Cancer Chemopreventives.  Molecules, 5: 285-288.

Kris-Etherton PM, Hecker KD, Bonanome A, Coval SM, Binkoski AE, Hilpert KF, Griel AE and Etherton TD (2002) Bioactive compounds in foods: their role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Am. J. Med., 113 Suppl. 9B: 71S–88S    

Kumar S, Dwivedi S, Kukreja AK, Sharma JR and Bagchi GD (2000) Cymbopogon: The Aromatic Grass  Lucknow, India. Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Monograph

Lai KC, Chiu YJ, Tang YJ, Lin KL, Chiang JH, Jiang YL, Jen HF, Kuo YH, Agamaya S, Chung JG and Yang JS (2010) Houttuynia cordata Thunb extract inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in human primary colorectal cancer cells. Anticancer Res., 30: 3549-3556.

Lewinsohn E, Dudai N and Tadmor Y (1998) Histochemical localization of citral accumulation in lemongrass leaves (Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf., Poaceae). Annals of Botany,  81(1):  35–39. 

Lu JJ, Bao JL, Chen XP, Huang M and Wang YT (2012) Alkaloids isolated from natural herbs as the anti-cancer agents. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 1-12.   

Mohammed F Halabi and Bassem Y Sheikh. (2014) Anti-Proliferative effect and phytochemical analysis of Cymbopogon citratus Extract. BioMed. Res. Int.,1- 8.

Moiseeva EP and Manson MM (2009) Dietary chemopreventive phytochemicals: too little or too much? Cancer Prev. Res.(Phila.)., 2: 611–616. 

Naithani R, Huma LC, Moriarty RM, McCormick DL and Mehta RG (2008) Comprehensive review of cancer chemopreventive agents evaluated in experimental carcinogenesis models and clinical trials. Curr. Med. Chem., 15: 1044–1071. 

Perala Sai Krishna, Dinesh Bhaskar and Balasubramanian Sathyamurthy (2017) In vitro Studies on the Effect of Citrus limon Linn in Neuroblastoma Sh-Sy5y Cell Lines. J. Med. Pls. Stu., 5(4): 197-202.

Pizzi A (2008) Tannins: Major Sources, Properties and Applications. In: Monomers, Polymers and Composites from Renewable Resources, Belgacem, M.N. and Galdini A. (Eds.). Elsevier, Londonn, UK, pp 178-199. 

Qian ML, Yi L Song-Lin, Y Jie Z, Ping-Hu and Qiang W 2014 Chemical profiles and anticancer effects of saponin fractions of different polarity from the leaves of Panax notoginseng. Chin. J. Natl.Med., 12: 30-37. 


Rabi T and Bishayee A (2009) Terpenoids and breast cancer chemoprevention. Breast Cancer Res.Treat., 115: 223–239.

Riboli E and Norat T (2003) Epidemiologic evidence of the protective effect of fruit and vegetables on cancer risk. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 78: 559S–569S.

Russo GL (2007) Ins and outs of dietary phytochemicals in cancer chemoprevention. Biochem Pharmacol., 74: 533–544. 

Sakagami H, Jiang Y, Kusama K, Atsumi T, Ueha T, Toguchi M, Iwakura I, Satoh K, Ito H, Hatano T and Yoshida T (2000) Cytotoxic activity of hydrolyzable tannins against human oral tumor cell lines: A possible mechanism. Phytomed., 7(1): 39-47.

Shah BA, Qazi GN and Taneja SC (2009) Boswellic acids: a group of medicinally important compounds. Nat. Prod. Rep., 26: 72–89.

Sultana N and Ata A (2008) Oleanolic acid and related derivatives as medicinally important compounds. J. Enzyme Inhib. Med. Chem., 23: 739–756.

Sun HX, Xie Y and Ye YP (2009) Advances in saponin-based adjuvants. J.Vacci., 27(12): 1787-1796.

Uprety Y, Asselin H, Boon EK, Yadav S, Shrestha KK (2010) Indigenous use and bio-efficacy of medicinal plants in the Rasuwa District, Central Nepal. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed.,  6- 3.

Wagner KH and Elmadfa I (2003) Biological relevance of terpenoids. Ann. Nutr. Metab., 47:  95-106.

Wang HK (2000) The therapeutic potential of flavonoids. Expert Opin Investig. Dru., 9: 2103–19.

World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (2007) Food,  Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective Washington DC: AICR,  pp-41-43.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2013) Top 10 causes of death. Cancer Fact Sheet No. 310  Geneva, Switzerland.

Xuan PuSarah J, Storr Yimin ZhangEmad A, RakhaAndrew R, Green Ian Ellis and Stewart G Martin (2017) Caspase-3 and caspase-8 expression in breast cancer. Apopt., 22(3): 357–368.

Yildirim I and Turkan K (2015)  Anticancer Agents: Saponin and Tannin. Int. J. BioChem., 9(6): 332-340.








    Origin & Evolution

    Print ISSN : 2320-7817 

    Online ISSN:2320-964X


    46, Guruwandan, Jawahar Nagar, 

    VMV Road, Amravati- 444604

    Maharashtra, India.

    Tel  + 91- 9970559438  |   9420775527  

    Email: |