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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47021. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047021. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Extracts of strawberry fruits induce intrinsic pathway of apoptosis in breast cancer cells and inhibits tumor progression in mice.

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Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.



The consumption of berry fruits, including strawberries, has been suggested to have beneficial effects against oxidative stress mediated diseases. Berries contain multiple phenolic compounds and secondary metabolites that contribute to their biological properties.


Current study investigates the anticancer activity of the methanolic extract of strawberry (MESB) fruits in leukaemia (CEM) and breast cancer (T47D) cell lines ex vivo, and its cancer therapeutic and chemopreventive potential in mice models. Results of MTT, trypan blue and LDH assays suggested that MESB can induce cytotoxicity in cancer cells, irrespective of origin, in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Treatment of mice bearing breast adenocarcinoma with MESB blocked the proliferation of tumor cells in a time-dependent manner and resulted in extended life span. Histological and immunohistochemical studies suggest that MESB treatment affected tumor cell proliferation by activating apoptosis and did not result in any side effects. Finally, we show that MESB can induce intrinsic pathway of apoptosis by activating p73 in breast cancer cells, when tumor suppressor gene p53 is mutated.


The present study reveals that strawberry fruits possess both cancer preventive and therapeutic values and we discuss the mechanism by which it is achieved.

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