Antioxidant Capacity, Anticancer Ability and Flavonoids Composition of 35 Citrus (Citrus reticulata Blanco) Varieties

Molecules. 2017 Jul 5;22(7):1114. doi: 10.3390/molecules22071114.


Citrus (Citrus reticulate Blanco) is one of the most commonly consumed and widely distributed fruit in the world, which is possessing extensive bioactivities. Present study aimed to fully understand the flavonoids compositions, antioxidant capacities and in vitro anticancer abilities of different citrus resources. Citrus fruits of 35 varieties belonging to 5 types (pummelos, oranges, tangerines, mandarins and hybrids) were collected. Combining li quid chromatography combined with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography combined with diode array detector (UPLC-DAD), a total of 39 flavonoid compounds were identified, including 4 flavones, 9 flavanones and 26 polymethoxylated flavonoids (PMFs). Each citrus fruit was examined and compared by 4 parts, flavedo, albedo, segment membrane and juice sacs. The juice sacs had the lowest total phenolics, following by the segment membrane. Four antioxidant traits including 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP), oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and cupric reducing antioxidant capacity (CUPRAC) were applied for the antioxidant capacities evaluation. Three gastric cancer cell lines, SGC-7901, BGC-823 and AGS were applied for the cytotoxicity evaluation. According to the results of correlation analysis, phenolics compounds might be the main contributor to the antioxidant activity of citrus extracts, while PMFs existing only in the flavedo might be closely related to the gastric cancer cell line cytotoxicity of citrus extracts. The results of present study might provide a theoretical guidance for the utilization of citrus resources.

Keywords: Citrus reticulata; anticancer abilities; antioxidant capacities; flavonoids composition; phenolics contents.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Citrus / classification
  • Flavanones / analysis
  • Flavanones / pharmacology
  • Flavones / analysis
  • Flavones / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids / chemistry*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Phenols / analysis
  • Phenols / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavanones
  • Flavones
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts