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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Jan 4;430(1):381-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.11.018. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Protocatechualdehyde possesses anti-cancer activity through downregulating cyclin D1 and HDAC2 in human colorectal cancer cells.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA.


Protocatechualdehyde (PCA) is a naturally occurring polyphenol found in barley, green cavendish bananas, and grapevine leaves. Although a few studies reported growth-inhibitory activity of PCA in breast and leukemia cancer cells, the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Thus, we performed in vitro study to investigate if treatment of PCA affects cell proliferation and apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells and define potential mechanisms by which PCA mediates growth arrest and apoptosis of cancer cells. Exposure of PCA to human colorectal cancer cells (HCT116 and SW480 cells) suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis in dose-dependent manner. PCA decreased cyclin D1 expression in protein and mRNA level and suppressed luciferase activity of cyclin D1 promoter, indicating transcriptional downregulation of cyclin D1 gene by PCA. We also observed that PCA treatment attenuated enzyme activity of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and reduced expression of HDAC2, but not HDAC1. These findings suggest that cell growth inhibition and apoptosis by PCA may be a result of HDAC2-mediated cyclin D1 suppression.

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