Anticancer activity of steroid alkaloids isolated from Solanum aculeastrum

Srinivas Koduru, D. S. Grierson, M. Van De Venter, A. J. Afolayan

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53 Scopus citations


Solanum aculeastrum Dunal is a medicinal plant that has long been used to treat various cancers and many other conditions in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. In this study, two steroid glycosides were isolated from the berries of this plant, which were identified as tomatidine and solasodine by spectroscopic techniques. Effects on cell growth of these compounds were investigated with HeLa, MCF7, and HT29 cancer cell lines. The IC50 values confirmed that tomatidine and solasodine had the highest inhibitory effect on HeLa cells and the IC50 of the combined compounds was lower than the value for solasodine and unchanged from that of tomatidine. However, the IC50 values of the two compounds combined was also lower in HT29 and MCF7 cells than for the individual compounds. Both tomatidine and solasodine inhibited cell growth by blocking the cell cycle in the G0/G1 phase after 24-h exposure with an increase from 55.6% to 64.2% and 66.8%, respectively. Using annexin V-FITC/PI staining by flow cytometry, the compounds showed very low apoptotic indices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-618
Number of pages6
JournalPharmaceutical Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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