Cytotoxic and apoptotic activity of Canavalia seed extract in HT-29 human colon carcinoma cells


  • Geetha Suvarna
  • Ashwini Prabhu
  • Katheeja Muhseena N.
  • Bhagya B. Sharma



Canavalia seed extracts, HT-29 cell lines, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, cell cycle


Introduction and Aim: Concanavalin the lectin from Canavalia spp. share high structural similarity among the same taxon and exhibit wide range of biological functions. The antiproliferative activity of lectins ConA (C. ensiformis), ConC (C. cathartica), ConG (C. gladiata) and ConM (C. rosea) were studied in human colon carcinoma.  


Materials and Methods: Human colon carcinoma HT-29 cells and human normal kidney HEK293T cells were examined. The cytotoxicity was evaluated by MTT assay. Cell apoptosis was analyzed by AO-EB (acridine orange-ethidium bromide dual staining) method. Cell cycle was investigated by flow cytometry (RNase-propidium iodide-based flow cytometry). The expression of cell signaling genes was analyzed by qRT-PCR.


Results: All concanavalins significantly inhibited the proliferation of HT-29 cells in dose-dependent manner (IC50 values were ConG-10.45, ConA-14.86, ConC-33.34 and ConM-48.98 µg/mL respectively). ConA and ConG induced apoptotic morphology in HT-29 cells without affecting HEK293T cells. Similarly, both lectins increased the sub-G0/G1 proportions in HT-29 cells dose-dependently. ConG showed down-regulation of AKT1, ERK1/2 and mutant p53 in HT-29 cells.  


Conclusion: Concanavalin extract is shown to possess cytotoxic effect through inducing apoptosis, especially causing cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase in HT-29 cells.

Author Biographies

Geetha Suvarna

Centre for Environmental Studies, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore-575018, Karnataka, India

Ashwini Prabhu

Yenepoya Research Centre, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore-575018, Karnataka, India

Katheeja Muhseena N.

Yenepoya Research Centre, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore-575018, Karnataka, India

Bhagya B. Sharma

Centre for Environmental Studies, Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Mangalore-575018, Karnataka, India


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How to Cite

Suvarna G, Prabhu A, Muhseena N. K, Sharma BB. Cytotoxic and apoptotic activity of Canavalia seed extract in HT-29 human colon carcinoma cells. Biomedicine [Internet]. 2021 Apr. 3 [cited 2023 Dec. 2];41(1):104-11. Available from:



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