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Genes Cancer. 2012 Feb;3(2):177-86. doi: 10.1177/1947601912458581.

Fresh Garlic Extract Induces Growth Arrest and Morphological Differentiation of MCF7 Breast Cancer Cells.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA.


Consumption of diets rich in fruits and vegetables is often associated with a reduced risk of developing cancer, particularly breast cancer. Considering that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in the course of her lifetime, dietary manipulation could have a major impact on the incidence of breast cancer. We report here that fresh extracts of garlic (not boiled) arrested the growth and altered the morphology of MCF7 breast cancer cells. Deregulated levels of E-cadherin, cytokeratin8/18, and β-catenin correlated with the altered phenotype. We propose that early down-regulation of cyclin D1, reduced phosphorylation of ERK1, and increased phosphorylation of eIF2-α triggered the phenotypical changes. Reduced expression of hsp27 and sam68 and elevated levels of Rb and p21 further contributed to the sustained growth reduction. These findings provide a better understanding of the cellular responses to dietary supplements and provide potential options to treat breast cancer.


MCF7 cells; cell cycle regulation; differentiation; garlic extracts; phosphorylation

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