Cytotoxicity of tuber lectins from two potato cultivars was assessed and their anti-tumor potential against experimentally induced Ehrlich ascites carcinoma in Swiss albino mice was evaluated. Twenty (20) kDa chitin-binding lectins from Solanum tuberosum tubers, STL-S and STL-D were purified through ion-exchange and affinity chromatographic methods, hemagglutinating activity and blood group specificity of the lectins were checked whereas the cytotoxicity was determined using brine shrimp (Artemia salina L.) nauplii lethality assay. The lectins showed no specificity to animal and human erythrocytes. LC50 values for STL-S and STL-D were found to be 75 and 90 μg/ml, respectively with a dose-dependent intermediary toxic effect. After inducing ascites by intraperitoneal propagation, the Swiss albino mice were treated by administering the lectins at a dose of 1.38 mg/kg/day for five consecutive days. STL-S and STL-D showed 79.84 and 83.04% of growth inhibition of EAC cells, respectively. Additionally, hemoglobin and RBC levels became considerably increased with a drop off in the WBC levels in the treated mice group indicating moderate anticancer activities exhibited by the potato lectins.
Key words: Chitin-binding lectins, antitumor activity, LC50, cell growth inhibition.
Abbreviations: STL-S and STL-D, Lectins from potato cultivars Sheelbilatee and Deshi, respectively; GlcNAc, N-acetyl D-glucosamine; DEAE, diethylaminoethyl; SDS-PAGE, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; EAC, Ehrlich’s ascites carcinoma; RBC, red blood cells; WBC, white blood cells; LC50, lethal concentration 50 (concentration in water having 50% chance of causing death to aquatic life).
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