The therapeutic potential of Physalis longifolia against various carcinomas

Robert J. Gallagher, Chitra Subramanian, Patrick T. Grogan, Kelly Kindscher, Cong Mei Cao, Huaping Zhang, Mark S. Cohen, Barbara N. Timmermann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Our research highlights the nutraceutical potential of the fruits of Physalis longifolia Nutt. (Solanaceae) in antitumor therapy. Recently we reported the isolation of withaferin A, along with 22 other withanolides from the aerial parts of P. longifolia. Herein, we present our biological, ethnobotanical, and phytochemical investigations on the edible fruit (known as "wild tomatillo" or "long leaf groundcherry") of the species. Specifically, dried fruit extract was examined for its chemical composition and biological activity. Explorative chromatography analysis of the fruit extract indicated the presence of withaferin A, which was further confirmed by subsequent HPLC analysis. The therapeutic potential of orally administered fruit extract was also investigated, where gavage treatment induced a 60% volume reduction in triple negative breast carcinomas (MDA-MB-468LN) in an experimental mouse model. This encouraging data indicate the potential of P. longifolia fruits as a dietary supplement, while also supporting the previously reported pharmaceutical potency of semi-synthetic withalongolide derivatives as promising chemotherapeutic candidates for antitumor therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiproliferative
  • Fruit
  • Nutraceutical
  • Withanolides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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