Lycopene inhibits growth of human colon cancer cellsviasuppression of the Akt signaling pathway

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Abstract

The aberrant regulation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt survival signaling pathway in cancer has prompted significant interest in suppression of this pathway to treat cancer. Previous studies identified an important role for phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt in colon cancer progression. Lycopene, a major component in tomato, exhibited potential anti-carcinogenic activity. Consumption of tomato has been associated with reduced risk of several types of human cancer. However, the inhibitory mechanisms of lycopene on the proliferation of human colon cancer have not been studied well yet. Thus we investigated the inhibitory effects of lycopene on the Akt signaling pathway in human colon cancer HT-29 cells. Lycopene inhibited cell proliferation in human colon cancer HT-29 cells with a IC50 value of 10 μM. Lycopene treatment suppressed Akt activation and non-phosphorylated β-catenin protein level in human colon cancer cells. Immunocytochemical results indicated that lycopene increased the phosphorylated form of β-catenin proteins. These effects were also associated with reduced promoter activity and protein expression of cyclin D1. Furthermore, lycopene significantly increased nuclear cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27kip abundance and inhibited phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein in human colon cancer cells. In conclusion, lycopene inhibited cell proliferation of human colon cancer cells via suppression of the Akt signaling pathway and downstream targeted molecules.

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