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14-12-2010 | Oncology | Article

Cancer-inhibiting qualities of pomegranate revealed


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MedWire News: US researchers have identified which elements of pomegranate juice inhibit prostate cancer cell migration, and could therefore offer potential in developing new treatments for the disease.

Pomegranate juice is a complex mixture of components, remarks the research team.

"We have previously found that, in addition to causing cell death of hormone-refractory prostate cancer cells (DU145 and PC3), pomegranate juice increases cell adhesion and decreases cell migration of the cells that do not die," say Manuela Martins-Green and colleagues from the University of California Riverside.

They found that components of the phenylpropanoid, hydrobenzoic acid, flavone, and conjugated fatty acid chemical classes were responsible for impeding DU145 and PC3 prostate cancer cell growth in vitro.

"Having identified them, we can now modify cancer-inhibiting components in pomegranate juice to improve their functions and make them more effective in preventing prostate cancer metastasis, leading to more effective drug therapies," added Martins-Green.

The research team applied pomegranate juice to cultured testosterone-resistant DU145 and PC3 cells. Using gene and microRNA arrays, the group discovered that the juice altered expression of genes involved in cytoskeleton and adhesion machinery including the protein E-cadherin, and the Inter-Cellular Adhesion Molecule 1 gene.

In addition, Martins-Green et al observed that the combination of phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acids, flavones, and conjugated fatty acids contained in the juice inhibited cell migration and chemotaxis toward SDF1α (stromal cell-derived factor-1), known to be important for prostate cancer metastasis to bone.

"We expect that further testing for dose-dependent effects, side effects, etc, should allow usage of these components as a more effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer than simply drinking the juice," remark the researchers, who presented their work at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

They conclude: "Because the genes and proteins involved in preventing movement of prostate cancer cells are essentially the same as those involved in movement of other types of cancer cells, the same modified components of the juice could have a much broader impact in cancer treatment."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy

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