Anticancer effects of oligomeric proanthocyanidins on human colorectal cancer cell line, SNU-C4

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Aug 14;11(30):4674-8. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i30.4674.


Aim: Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC), natural polyphenolic compounds found in plants, are known to have antioxidant and anti-cancer effects. We investigated whether the anti-cancer effects of the OPC are induced by apoptosis on human colorectal cancer cell line, SNU-C4.

Methods: Colorectal cancer cell line, SNU-C4 was cultured in RPMI 1640 medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum. The cytotoxic effect of OPC was assessed by 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenylt-etrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. To find out the apoptotic cell death, 4, 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and caspase-3 enzyme assay were performed.

Results: In this study, cytotoxic effect of OPC on SNU-C4 cells appeared in a dose-dependent manner. OPC treatment (100 microg/mL) revealed typical morphological apoptotic features. Additionally OPC treatment (100 microg/mL) increased level of BAX and CASPASE-3, and decreased level of BCL-2 mRNA expression. Caspase-3 enzyme activity was also significantly increased by treatment of OPC (100 microg/mL) compared with control.

Conclusion: These data indicate that OPC caused cell death by apoptosis through caspase pathways on human colorectal cancer cell line, SNU-C4.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Base Sequence
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases / genetics
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Genes, bcl-2
  • Humans
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • RNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • BAX protein, human
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • CASP3 protein, human
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspases