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J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Feb 24;64(7):1509-19. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.5b04924. Epub 2016 Feb 15.

Synthesis and Characterization of a Walnut Peptides-Zinc Complex and Its Antiproliferative Activity against Human Breast Carcinoma Cells through the Induction of Apoptosis.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, South China University of Technology , Wushan Road 381, Guangzhou 510640, China.
Department of Food Science and Engineering, Jinan University , Guangzhou 510623, China.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University , 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77005, United States.
School of Pharmaceutical Science, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of New Drug Screening, Southern Medical University , Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China.


The walnut peptides and zinc ions were combined to generate a walnut peptides-zinc complex (WP1-Zn) with enhanced antiproliferative ability as well as reduced toxicity. The result indicated that Zn ions were successfully combined with WP1 through Zn-N and Zn-O covalent bonds. WP1-Zn compounds exhibited strong antiproliferative ability against the selected human cell lines, especially MCF-7 cells, whose survival rate reduced to 20.02% after exposure to 300 μg/mL of WP1-Zn for 48 h. WP1-Zn inhibited MCF-7 cell proliferation through inducing cell apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. The results indicated that WP1-Zn induced MCF-7 cell apoptosis via the ROS triggered mitochondrial-mediated pathway and cell surface receptor-mediated pathway. Our work is the first attempt to elucidate the synergic effect of novel walnut peptides and Zn and with the hope of better understanding the antiproliferative action of bioactive peptides and a zinc complex and support the potential application of WP1-Zn as a functional food ingredient or complementary medicine.


antitumor; apoptosis; biosynthesis; walnut peptides−zinc complex

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