Cytotoxicity of purified cassava linamarin to a selected cancer cell lines


Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a known source of linamarin, but difficulties associated with its isolation have prevented it from being exploited as a major source. A batch adsorption process using activated carbon proved successful in its isolation, with ultrafiltration playing a pivotal role in its purification. Thirty-two minutes of contact time was required for 60 g of extract, yielding 1.7 g of purified product. Picrate paper, infra-red and 1HNMR analysis confirmed the presence and structure of linamarin. Cytotoxic effects of linamarin on MCF-7, HT-29 and HL-60 cells were determined using the MTT assay. Cytotoxic effects were significantly increased in the presence of linamarase (β-glucosidase), with a 10–fold decrease in the IC50 values obtained for HL-60 cells. This study thus describes a method for the isolation and purification of linamarin from cassava, as well as its cytotoxicity potential.

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The authors wish to acknowledge the H.E. Griffin Cancer Trust Foundation for funding of this project.

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Correspondence to Christopher Avwoghokoghene Idibie.

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Idibie, C.A., Davids, H. & Iyuke, S.E. Cytotoxicity of purified cassava linamarin to a selected cancer cell lines. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 30, 261–269 (2007).

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  • Linamarin
  • Linamarase
  • Cassava
  • Adsorption
  • Cytotoxicity