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Cancer Res. 2010 Mar 1;70(5):1925-31. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3438. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extract inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation by modulating cell cycle regulatory genes and promotes apoptosis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri 63104, USA. rayrb@slu.edu

Abstract

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in the United States. Although there are effective drugs for treating advanced stages of breast cancers, women eventually develop resistance. One of the approaches to control breast cancer is prevention through diet, which inhibits one or more neoplastic events and reduces cancer risk. In this study, we have used human breast cancer cells, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, and primary human mammary epithelial cells as an in vitro model to assess the efficacy of bitter melon (Momordica charantia) extract (BME) as an anticancer agent. BME treatment of breast cancer cells resulted in a significant decrease in cell proliferation and induced apoptotic cell death. Apoptosis of breast cancer cells was accompanied by increased poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage and caspase activation. Subsequent studies showed that BME treatment of breast cancer cells inhibited survivin and claspin expression. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis suggested that MCF-7 cells treated with BME accumulated during the G2-M phase of the cell cycle. Further studies revealed that BME treatment enhanced p53, p21, and pChk1/2 and inhibited cyclin B1 and cyclin D1 expression, suggesting an additional mechanism involving cell cycle regulation. Together, these results show that BME modulates signal transduction pathways for inhibition of breast cancer cell growth and can be used as a dietary supplement for prevention of breast cancer.

PMID:
20179194
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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