In vitro anticancer activity of Citrus maxima peel extract on human breast cancer cells


  • Flama Monteiro
  • Shilpa S. Shetty
  • Ranjitha Acharya
  • Vijith Vittal Shetty
  • Suchetha Kumari N.



citrus maxima peel extract, naringin, anticancer, cell proliferation, breast cancer


Introduction and Aim: The alarming rise in breast cancer cases highlights the need for a safer, effective, and more responsive chemoprevention approach for cancer treatment. In contrast to conventional chemotherapeutic medicines, which primarily function as mono-target agents, phytochemicals have been proven to inhibit cancer growth by influencing numerous processes, such as apoptosis and signaling pathways. Citrus maxima (Burm). Merr., frequently identified as pomelo, exhibits a wide range of biological activities, and is utilized extensively in the conventional approach to medicine, and this study focused on anti-cancer properties of Citrus maxima peel extracts.


Materials and Methods: The anti-proliferative properties of the Citrus maxima peel extracts and its flavonoid Naringin on the breast cancer cell line was evaluated using the MTT test. The ability of the breast cancer cells to migrate was assessed using a wound healing assay and their capacity to form colonies was assessed using a colony formation assay.


Results: The Citrus maxima crude peel extracts and Naringin inhibited the cell proliferation of the breast cancer cell line. The cell viability of breast cancer cells decreased with time after treatment with their corresponding IC50. The colony-formation capacity and migration ability of the cells was also reduced.


Conclusion: The examined Citrus maxima crude peel extracts and its flavonoid Naringin showed strong anticancer efficacy by suppressing cell proliferation and could be seen as prospective candidates for upcoming breast cancer therapeutic medications. Extensive research is also needed to fully comprehend the precise mechanism of action of extracts and its components.

Author Biographies

Flama Monteiro

Department of Biochemistry, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, 575018, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India

Shilpa S. Shetty

Central Research Laboratory, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, 575018, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India

Ranjitha Acharya

Department of Biochemistry, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, 575018, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India

Vijith Vittal Shetty

Department of Surgery, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, 575018, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India

Suchetha Kumari N.

Department of Biochemistry, KS Hegde Medical Academy, Deralakatte, 575018, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India


Sung, H., Ferlay,J., Siegel, R.L., Laversanne, M., Soerjomataram, I., Jemal, A., et al., Global Cancer Statistics 2020: GLOBOCAN Estimates of Incidence and Mortality Worldwide for 36 Cancers in 185 Countries. A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.2021;71(3):209-249.

Nidugala, H., Prabhu, A., Avadhani, R., Ravishankar, B. In vitro anticancer efficacy of Cyperus rotundus (L.) on breast adenocarcinoma cells via the induction of DNA fragmentation and apoptosis. Biomedicine. 2023 Sep 18;43(4):1198-1202.

Guthigar, M., Naik, P.R. Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding breast cancer among the women in rural Karnataka, South India. Biomedicine. 2023 Aug 30;43(4):1320-1324.

Kashyap, D., Tuli, H.S., Yerer, M.B., Sharma, A., Sak, K., Srivastava, S., et al., Natural product-based nanoformulations for cancer therapy: Opportunities and challenges. Seminars in Cancer Biology.2021; 69:5-23.

Greenwell, M., Rahman, P.K. Medicinal Plants: Their Use in Anticancer Treatment. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Research.2015; 6(10):4103-4112.

Koolaji, N., Shammugasamy, B., Schindeler, A., Dong, Q., Dehghani, F., Valtchev, P. Citrus peel flavonoids as potential cancer prevention agents. Current Developments in Nutrition. 2020; 4(5): nzaa025.

Kumar, S., Singh, I., Kohli, D., Joshi, J., Mishra, R. Waste Pomelo (Citrus Maxima) Peels – A natural source of antioxidant and its utilization in peanut oil for suppressing the development of rancidity. Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science Journal.2019; 7(3):800-806.

Sowmya, N., N, Haraprasad., Hema, B.P. Exploring the total flavonoid content of peels of Citrus auriantum, Citrus maxima and Citrus sinensis using different solvents and HPLC analysis of flavonones - Naringin and Naringenin in peels of Citrus maxima. Pharma Innovation. 2019; 8(4):12-17.

Cordenonsi, L.M., Sponchiado, R.M., Campanharo, S.C., Garcia, C.V., Raffin, R.P., Schapoval, E.E.S. Study of flavonoids present in pomelo (Citrus maxima) by DSC, UV-VIS, IR, 1H and 13C NMR and MS. Drug Analytical Research. 2017;1(1):31-37.

Bhandary, B. S. K., Sharmila, K.P., Kumari, S.N., Bhat, V.S. Phytochemical profile and invitro antioxidant activity of Asparagus racemosus root extract, isoprinosine and shatavari syrup. Journal of Harmonized Research. 2015; 3:215-223.

Siddiqui, F.A., Prakasam, G., Chattopadhyay, S., Rehman, A.U., Padder, R.A., Ansari, M.A, et al., Curcumin decreases Warburg effect in cancer cells by down-regulating pyruvate kinase M2 via mTOR-HIF1alpha inhibition. Scientific Reports.2018;8(1):8323.

Jayakar, V., Lokapur, V., Nityasree, B.R., Chalannavar, R.K., Lasrado, L.D., Shantaram, M. Optimization and green synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticle using Garcinia cambogia leaf and evaluation of their antioxidant and anticancer property in kidney cancer (A498) cell lines. Biomedicine. 2021 Jul 7;41(2):206-222.

Somaida, A., Tariq, I., Ambreen, G., Abdelsalam, A.M., Ayoub, A.M., Wojcik, M., et al., Potent cytotoxicity of four cameroonian plant extracts on different cancer cell lines. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2020;13(11):357.

Franken, A.P.N., Rodermond, M.H., Stap, J., Haveman, J., Bree, V.C. Clonogenic assay of cells in vitro. Nature Protocols. 2006; 1:2315-2319.

Mukherjee, A.K., Basu, S., Sarkar, N., Ghosh, A.C. Advances in cancer therapy with plant based natural products. Current Medicinal Chemistry.2001; 8(12):1467-1486.

Monteiro, F., Shetty, S.S., Ranjitha, K., Shetty V.V., Shetty, D.P., Patil, P., Kumari, N.S. Phytochemical profiling, total flavonoid, total phenolic content, and in-vitro antioxidant evaluation of Citrus maxima extract. Biomedicine. 2022; 42(5):912-919.

Mursiti, S., Amalina, N.D., Mariantil, A. Inhibition of breast cancer cell development using Citrus maxima extract through increasing levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Journal of Physics: Conference Series. 2021;1918 :052005.

Li, H., Yang, B., Huang, J., Xiang, T., Yin, X., Wan, J., et al., Naringin inhibits growth potential of human triple-negative breast cancer cells by targeting beta-catenin signaling pathway. Toxicology Letters. 2013;220(3):219-228.

Tajaldini, M., Samadi, F., Khosravi, A., Ghasemnejad, A., Asadi, J. Inhibition of growth and migration of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cells by orange peel extract and naringin. Medical Laboratory Journal. 2020; 14 (2):31-35.

Radicchi, D., Melo, A., Lima, A. P., Almeida, T., Souza, G., da Silva, G. Naringina: potencial antitumoral in silico en in vitro en células cancerosas de vejiga. Ars Pharmaceutica.2022; 63(2):132-143.

Erdogan, S., Doganlar, O., Doganlar, Z.B., Turkekul, K. Naringin sensitizes human prostate cancer cells to paclitaxel therapy. Prostate International.2018;6(4):126-135.

Aroui, S., Fetoui, H., Kenani A. Natural dietary compound naringin inhibits glioblastoma cancer neoangiogenesis. BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology.2020;21(1):46.

Tajaldini, M., Samadi, F., Khosravi,A., Ghasemnejad, A., Asadi, J. Inhibition of Growth and Migration of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Cells by Orange Peel Extract and Naringin. Medical Laboratory Journal. 2020; 14 (2):31-35.




How to Cite

Monteiro F, S. Shetty S, Acharya R, Vittal Shetty V, Kumari N. S. In vitro anticancer activity of Citrus maxima peel extract on human breast cancer cells. Biomedicine [Internet]. 2023 Nov. 8 [cited 2023 Dec. 2];43(5):1418-22. Available from:



Original Research Articles

Plum Analytics 

Most read articles by the same author(s)