Soybean peptide lunasin suppresses in vitro and in vivo 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced tumorigenesis

J Food Sci. 2010 Nov-Dec;75(9):H311-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01861.x.


Lunasin is a novel peptide identified in soybean and other seeds. This study evaluated the anti-tumorigenic effects of lunasin on 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) and 3-methylcholanthrene-treated (MCA) fibroblast NIH/3T3 cells. Lunasin significantly inhibited cell proliferation and cancerous foci formation in these 2 chemical carcinogens-treated cells. An in vivo SENCAR mouse model induced with DMBA was used to study the mammary cancer preventive properties of dietary lunasin contained in soy protein. Tumor incidence was 67% and 50%, and the tumor generation was 1.88 ± 0.48 and 1.17 ± 0.17, respectively, for the mice fed control diet and experimental diet obtained after AIN-93G supplementation with lunasin-enriched soy protein concentrate (containing 0.23% lunasin). However, no effects were observed in mice fed AIN-93G supplemented with soy protein concentrate (containing 0.15% lunasin). The data provided illustrate the anticancer potential of lunasin both in vitro and in vivo and supports the recommendation of soy protein as a dietary component that may aid in the prevention of mammary cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Female
  • Glycine max / chemistry*
  • Methylcholanthrene
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred SENCAR
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Soybean Proteins / chemistry
  • Soybean Proteins / pharmacology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Carcinogens
  • Dietary Proteins
  • GM2S-1 protein, soybean
  • Peptides
  • Soybean Proteins
  • Methylcholanthrene
  • 9,10-Dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene