Selective cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells by a polyphenol-rich extract of Solanum nigrum

Int J Mol Med. 2012 Feb;29(2):277-84. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2011.835. Epub 2011 Nov 10.


Progression of prostate cancer is associated with escape of tumor cells from cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Agents capable of selectively eliminating cancer cells by cell cycle arrest and/or induction of apoptosis offer a highly desirable approach. Here we demonstrate that a polyphenolic extract derived from ripe berries of Solanum nigrum (SN) differentially causes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in various human prostate cancer cells without affecting normal prostate epithelial cells. Virally transformed normal human prostate epithelial PZ-HPV-7 cells and their cancer counterpart CA-HPV-10 cells, were used to evaluate the growth-inhibitory effects of the SN extract. SN treatment (5-20 µg/ml) of PZ-HPV-7 cells resulted in growth inhibitory responses of low magnitude. In sharp contrast, SN treatment of CA-HPV-10 cells increased cytotoxicity, decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis. Similar results were noted in the human prostate cancer LNCaP, 22Rv1, DU145 and PC-3 cell lines, where significant reductions in cell viability and induction of apoptosis was observed in all these cells, an effect independent of disease stage and androgen association. Cell cycle analysis revealed that SN treatment (5-20 µg/ml) resulted in a dose-dependent G2/M phase arrest and subG1 accumulation in the CA-HPV-10 but not in the PZ-HPV-7 cell line. Our results, for the first time, demonstrate that the SN extract is capable of selectively inhibiting cellular proliferation and accelerating apoptotic events in prostate cancer cells. SN may be developed as a promising therapeutic and/or preventive agent against prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Polyphenols / pharmacology*
  • Polyphenols / therapeutic use
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Solanum nigrum / chemistry*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols