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Fam Cancer. 2015 Mar;14(1):25-30. doi: 10.1007/s10689-014-9762-z.

Down-regulation of malignant potential by alpha linolenic acid in human and mouse colon cancer cells.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston University, Boston, MA, 02118, USA.

Abstract

Omega-3 fatty acids (also called ω-3 fatty acis or n-3 fatty acid) are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with a double bond (C=C) at the third carbon atom from the end of the carbon chain. Numerous test tube and animal studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent or inhibit the growth of cancers, suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids are important in cancer physiology. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one of an essential omega-3 fatty acid and organic compound found in seeds (chia and flaxseed), nuts (notably walnuts), and many common vegetable oils. ALA has also been shown to down-regulate cell proliferation of prostate, breast, and bladder cancer cells. However, direct evidence that ALA suppresses to the development of colon cancer has not been studied. Also, no previous studies have evaluated whether ALA may regulate malignant potential (adhesion, invasion and colony formation) in colon cancer cells. In order to address the questions above, we conducted in vitro studies and evaluated whether ALA may down-regulate malignant potential in human (HT29 and HCT116) and mouse (MCA38) colon cancer cell lines. We observed that treatment with 1-5 mM of ALA inhibits cell proliferation, adhesion and invasion in both human and mouse colon cancer cell lines. Interestingly, we observed that ALA did not decrease total colony numbers when compared to control. By contrast, we found that size of colony was significantly changed by ALA treatment when compared to control in all colon cancer cell lines. We suggest that our data enhance our current knowledge of ALA's mechanism and provide crucial information to further the development of new therapies for the management or chemoprevention of colon cancer.

PMID:
25336096
DOI:
10.1007/s10689-014-9762-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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