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Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Feb;59(2):250-61. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201400558. Epub 2014 Dec 5.

Arctigenin in combination with quercetin synergistically enhances the antiproliferative effect in prostate cancer cells.

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Division of Cancer Research and Training, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Center for Human Nutrition, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.



We investigated whether a combination of two promising chemopreventive agents arctigenin (Arc) and quercetin (Q) increases the anticarcinogenic potency at lower concentrations than necessary when used individually in prostate cancer.


Androgen-dependent LAPC-4 and LNCaP prostate cancer cells were treated with low doses of Arc and Q alone or in combination for 48 h. The antiproliferative activity of Arc was 10- to 20-fold stronger than Q in both cell lines. Their combination synergistically enhanced the antiproliferative effect, with a stronger effect in androgen receptor (AR) wild-type LAPC-4 cells than in AR mutated LNCaP cells. Arc demonstrated a strong ability to inhibit AR protein expression in LAPC-4 cells. The combination treatment significantly inhibited both AR and PI3K/Akt pathways compared to control. A protein array analysis revealed that the mixture targets multiple pathways particularly in LAPC-4 cells including Stat3 pathway. The mixture significantly inhibited the expression of several oncogenic microRNAs including miR-21, miR-19b, and miR-148a compared to control. The mixture also enhanced the inhibition of cell migration in both cell lines compared to individual compounds tested.


The combination of Arc and Q that target similar pathways, at low physiological doses, provides a novel regimen with enhanced chemoprevention in prostate cancer.


Arctigenin; Combination; MicroRNA; Prostate cancer; Quercetin

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