Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH MEDIA
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

Treatment with Bitter Melon Juice Blocks Growth of Pancreatic Cancer Cells

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 25 Mar 2013
Image: Momordica charantia (Photo courtesy of Sayat Arslanlioglu).
Image: Momordica charantia (Photo courtesy of Sayat Arslanlioglu).
Juice of the bitter melon (Momordica charantia), which has been used in natural Asian medicine for treatment of diabetes, was found to kill pancreatic cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo without noticeable toxicity to normal tissues.

Investigators at the University of Colorado (Aurora, USA) worked with cultures of the pancreatic cancer cell lines BxPC-3, MiaPaCa-2, AsPC-1, and Capan-2 and with a xenograft model of MiaPaCa-2 tumors growing in nude mice. The cell cultures were treated with bitter melon juice while the mice were fed lyophilized bitter melon juice for a period of six weeks.

Results published in the March 8, 2013, online edition of the journal Carcinogenesis revealed that bitter melon juiced decreased cell viability in all four pancreatic carcinoma cell lines by inducing strong apoptotic death. Oral administration of lyophilized bitter melon juice for six weeks inhibited MiaPaCa-2 tumor xenograft growth by 60% without noticeable toxicity in nude mice.

At the molecular level, bitter melon juice was shown to activate caspases and alter expression of Bcl2 family members and cytochrome-c release into the cytosol. Additionally, it decreased survivin and XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein) but increased p21, CHOP (DNA-damage-inducible transcript 3), and phosphorylated MAPKs (ERK1/2 and p38) levels. In addition, bitter melon juice activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a biomarker for cellular energy status. An AMPK inhibitor (Compound C) reversed bitter melon juice-induced caspase 3 activation, suggesting activated-AMPK involvement in the induced apoptosis.

Immunohistochemical analyses of MiaPaCa-2 xenografts showed that bitter melon juice inhibited proliferation, induced apoptosis, and activated AMPK in vivo.

“Three years ago researchers showed the effect of bitter melon extract on breast cancer cells only in a Petri dish. This study goes much, much farther. We used the juice—people especially in Asian countries are already consuming it in quantity. We show that it affects the glucose metabolism pathway to restrict energy and kill pancreatic cancer cells,” said senior author Dr. Rajesh Agarwal, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Colorado. “It is a very exciting finding. Many researchers are engineering new drugs to target cancer cells’ ability to supply themselves with energy, and here we have a naturally-occurring compound that may do just that.”

Related Links:
University of Colorado


Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel
Image: Cancer cells, left, were pretreated with a drug that blocks the ERK signal, and right, without the pretreatment. Top cells are untreated, while the bottom ones are stimulated (Photo courtesy of the Weizmann Institute of Science).

Prevention of ERK Nuclear Translocation Blocks Cancer Proliferation in Animal Models

A team of cell biologists has shown that the cancer promoting effects of ERK dysregulation can be blocked by low molecular weight drugs that prevent translocation of this kinase from the cells' cytoplasm... Read more

Biochemistry

view channel
Image:  Model depiction of a novel cellular mechanism by which regulation of cryptochromes Cry1 and Cry2 enables coordination of a protective transcriptional response to DNA damage caused by genotoxic stress (Photo courtesy of the journal eLife, March 2015, Papp SJ, Huber AL, et al.).

Two Proteins Critical for Circadian Cycles Protect Cells from Mutations

Scientists have discovered that two proteins critical for maintaining healthy day-night cycles also have an unexpected role in DNA repair and protecting cells against genetic mutations that could lead... Read more

Business

view channel

NanoString and MD Anderson Collaborate on Development of Novel Multi-Omic Expression Profiling Assays for Cancer

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX, USA) and NanoString Technologies, Inc. (Seattle, WA, USA) will partner on development of a revolutionary new type of assay—simultaneously profiling gene and protein expression, initially aiming to discover and validate biomarker signatures for immuno-oncology... Read more
 

Events

21 Apr 2015 - 23 Apr 2015
21 Apr 2015 - 23 Apr 2015
Copyright © 2000-2015 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.