Functional food products to prevent and support cancer treatment from Glycosmis stenocarpa

Aiming to apply modern technology to develop a process of isolating and making functional foods rich in murrayafoline A with the effect of preventing and supporting cancer treatment from Vietnamese Glycosmis stenocarpa, the research group of Dr. Luu Van Chinh & Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Quoc Toan and his colleagues at the Institute of Natural Products Chemistry, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, conducted the project: "Application of modern technologies - techniques to build processes and creating a dietary supplement rich in murrayafoline A compounds that have the effect of preventing and supporting cancer treatment from Glycosmis stenocarpa” (code: UDPTCN. 08/19-21). The project is rated Excellent.

Glycosmis stenocarpa (Drake) Tan belongs to the family Rutaceae. This is a species with a small tree, 1 meter high, often growing in the mountainous areas of the northern midland and mountainous provinces such as Cuc Phuong - Ninh Binh; Chi Linh - Hai Duong, Bac Giang and Quang Ninh. The compounds that have been isolated mainly from this plant are alkanoids such as murrayafoline A, murrayanin and, bisisomahanin, in which the compound murrayafoline A accounts for 0.3- 0.4% of the total volume. With highly exploitable raw materials, the research and development of products rich in murrayafoline A capable of preventing and supporting cancer treatment will contribute effectively to the pharmaceutical industry in community health care. 

Figure 1. Glycosmis stenocarpa (Drake) Tan.

Among the compounds studied by the Institute of Natural Products Chemistry, the compound murrayafoline A was first isolated in Vietnam in 2005 from Glycosmis stenocarpa showing rich biological activities, especially the activity to kill cancer cells by the mechanism of apoptosis. This compound is effective against many tested cell lines, in which it has a very good effect on carcinoma (KB), lung cancer (LU-1), prostate cancer (LNCaP), and leukemia (HL-60).


Figure 2. Structural formula of murrayafoline A

In vivo studies showed that murayafoline A showed almost no toxicity to test animals. In vivo evaluation of anticancer activity on LLU (Lewis Lung Carcinoma) cell line showed that this compound at a dose of 100 mg/kgP/day not only inhibited the growth of cancer cells, reducing the tumor volume by up to 91.4%, but also has the ability to kill cancer cells (16.67% of the test animals no longer have tumors, become healthy and function normally). In addition, studies on converting murrayafoline A into liposome nanoforms showed that in this structure, the cancer treatment effect in test animals remained the same.

Previous studies mainly used chromatographic methods to isolate murrayafoline A, with the disadvantages of very low yield from raw materials, high cost and difficulty of large-scale deployment. Therefore, it is difficult to study and create a preparation containing murayafoline A that can prevent and support cancer treatment. Therefore, the research and development of a technology to isolate murrayafoline A in the direction of using modern technologies and techniques such as enzymes or ultrasound to develop a preparation that has the effect of preventing and supporting cancer treatment is very necessary and has scientific and practical significance.

Figure 3. Mu-A crystallography and thin layer chromatographic results of Mu-A

The research team has successfully built a technological process and modeled a pilot-scale device system with 10 kg of raw materials/batch to extract and purify murrayafoline A from the roots of Glycosmis stenocarpa. Process and equipment systems operate stably with average efficiency > 95% and purity > 98%. The product murrayafoline A ensures the safety criteria according to the regulations of the Ministry of Health. The process has been granted a patent by the National Office of Intellectual Property, No. 28816, dated June 3, 2021.


Figure 4. Patent protection

The research team has prepared murrayafoline A in the form of nanoliposomes with the average size of 101.18 ± 3.26 nm; PDI = 0.139 ± 0.025; Zeta potential = -24.2 ± 1.04 (mV); The liposomeization efficiency reached 55.3%. The product has been evaluated for its effect on HepG2 liver cancer cells, showing that the absorption of active ingredients is significantly increased to about 8.83 0.97 ng/105 cells compared to 2ng/105 cells. At the same time, the research team designed and built a device for creating automatic liposome continuously (50-100 ml/h).

Figure 5. Liposomal granulation device designed and manufactured by the research team. 

The group has successfully prepared an oral product containing murrayafoline A in the form of nano liposomes. The product ensures the safety criteria according to the regulations of the Ministry of Health.

Figure 6. Health food products containing murrayafoline A

The team wishes to continue researching to upgrade the extraction and purification of murrayafoline A on larger scales to perfect the technological process towards the use of modern techniques and technologies, and at the same time, research solutions to create sustainable raw materials, associated with socio-economic development in localities.

Translated by Phuong Ha
Link to Vietnamese version

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