Structure of a mutagen from roasted seeds of Moringa oleifera

Carcinogenesis. 1989 Jun;10(6):1085-7. doi: 10.1093/carcin/10.6.1085.


A mutagenic compound was isolated from roasted seeds of Moringa oleifera Lam. Its structure has been elucidated by spectral analysis as 4(alpha-L-rhamnosyloxy)phenylacetonitrile. The results of the Micronucleus Test, an in vivo method, showed that the number of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes (PCE)/1000 PCE for this compound is higher than that of the solvent control, dimethylsulfoxide, and approximates that of the positive control, tetracycline. This indicates that 4(alpha-L-rhamnosyloxy)phenylacetonitrile is a genotoxic compound.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetonitriles / isolation & purification*
  • Acetonitriles / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Glycosides / isolation & purification*
  • Glycosides / pharmacology
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Mice
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Muscles / drug effects
  • Mutagens / isolation & purification*
  • Seeds / analysis*


  • Acetonitriles
  • Glycosides
  • Mutagens
  • 4-(rhamnosyloxy)phenylacetonitrile