3 Biotech

, 9:312 | Cite as

Improved antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer activity of naringenin on conjugation with pectin

  • Jyoti Mundlia
  • Munish AhujaEmail author
  • Pradeep Kumar
  • Viness Pillay
Original Article


The purpose of the present study was to improve the aqueous solubility of naringenin by conjugating with water-soluble polysaccharide carrier, pectin. The pectin–naringenin conjugate was synthesized employing dicyclohexylcarbodiimide and dimethylaminopyridine. The conjugation was confirmed by various physicochemical characterizations. The results of differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction and morphological analyses revealed semi-crystalline nature of the conjugate. The chromatographic analysis showed 37.069 µg naringenin/mg of conjugate. The conjugate was determined to have molecular weight of 6.22 × 104 kDa by static light scattering. In silico molecular mechanistic simulations performed for pectin and naringenin revealed the energetic and geometrical stability within the polysaccharide-polyphenol conjugate. The critical aggregation concentration was in the range of 44.67–56.23 μg/mL as determined by dynamic light scattering and fluorescence spectroscopy. On in vitro release, 99.4% (pH 1.2) and 57.62% (pH 7.4) of naringenin were found to be released over a period of 30 h and 48 h, respectively. Further, the release of naringenin followed Higuchi’s square-root kinetics with diffusion as the possible release mechanism. A comparative evaluation for antioxidant activity revealed a significantly higher radical scavenging activity of conjugate over the naringenin. Further, the conjugate exhibited significantly higher antimicrobial action against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa while a comparable antimicrobial activity was observed against Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. The cytotoxicity studies of the synthesized conjugate showed anti-cancer activity against NIH: OVCAR-5 cells. In conclusion, the pectin-naringenin conjugate presented hydrocolloidal properties with improved therapeutic efficacy and delivery over the native polyphenol.


Pectin Naringenin Molecular mechanics Dynamic light scattering Critical aggregation concentration Cytotoxicity 



The authors express gratitude to Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for providing financial assistance to Jyoti Mundlia under DST-PURSE programme.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

13205_2019_1835_MOESM1_ESM.docx (420 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 420 kb)                                                                                                                                    


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Drug Delivery Research Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesGuru Jambheshwar University of Science and TechnologyHisarIndia
  2. 2.Wits Advanced Drug Delivery Platform Research Unit, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, School of Therapeutic Sciences, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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