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J Med Food. 2007 Mar;10(1):54-9.

Anticancer effects of four varieties of muscadine grape.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 39634, USA.


The initiating event in carcinogenesis is a somatic mutation. During progression of the disease, additional mutations accumulate as the transformed cells develop the ability to proliferate and metastasize. These mutations can be produced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated through metabolism, or environmental insult. Metastasis involves tissue degradative enzymes, many of which are members of the matrix metalloproteinase family. Hence, substances that can neutralize ROS, inhibit mutagenesis, or block activity of the matrix metalloproteinases should prove to be anticarcinogenic. This study was performed to evaluate the possible anticarcinogenic characteristics of muscadine grapes. These grow wild in the southeast United States and have not been subjected to extensive breeding, as have most commercially cultivated fruits. The extracts tested were from pomace remaining after wine production. This is usually discarded, but the results obtained in this study indicate that pomace water extracts could be used as sources for purification of anticarcinogenic compounds. Four varieties of muscadine grape were tested for their abilities to affect mutagenesis by the metabolically activated carcinogen 2-aminoanthracene. Each extract was also assayed for antioxidant activity and for its ability to inhibit activity of matrix metalloproteinases-2 and -9. Each of the four extracts showed significant inhibition of 2-aminoanthracene mutagenesis, high antioxidant activity, and the ability to inhibit activities of both metalloproteinases, implying that these extracts could be good inhibitors of carcinogenesis. Two of the extracts showed little activity when tested for their effects on mutagenesis by the direct-acting mutagen methyl methanesulfonate.

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