Research Papers:

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

Stefania Raimondo _, Flores Naselli, Simona Fontana, Francesca Monteleone, Alessia Lo Dico, Laura Saieva, Giovanni Zito, Anna Flugy, Mauro Manno, Maria Antonietta Di Bella, Giacomo De Leo and Riccardo Alessandro

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:19514-19527. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4004

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Stefania Raimondo1, Flores Naselli1, Simona Fontana1, Francesca Monteleone1, Alessia Lo Dico1, Laura Saieva1, Giovanni Zito2, Anna Flugy1, Mauro Manno3, Maria Antonietta Di Bella1, Giacomo De Leo1, Riccardo Alessandro1

1Dipartimento di Biopatologia e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università degli Studi di Palermo, sezione di Biologia e Genetica, Palermo, Italy

2Laboratorio di Ingegneria Tissutale – Piattaforme Innovative per l’Ingegneria Tissutale (PON01–00829), Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Palermo, Italy

3Istituto di Biofisica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Palermo, Italy

Correspondence to:

Riccardo Alessandro, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: cancer, exosome-like nanovesicles, Citrus limon L., TRAIL-mediated cell death

Received: April 03, 2015     Accepted: May 08, 2015     Published: May 18, 2015


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.

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