Inhibitory effects of sea buckthorn procyanidins on fatty acid synthase and MDA-MB-231 cells

Tumour Biol. 2014 Oct;35(10):9563-9. doi: 10.1007/s13277-014-2233-1. Epub 2014 Jun 24.


Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is overexpressed in many human cancers including breast cancer and is considered to be a promising target for therapy. Sea buckthorn has long been used to treat a variety of maladies. Here, we investigated the inhibitory effect of sea buckthorn procyanidins (SBPs) isolated from the seeds of sea buckthorn on FAS and FAS overexpressed human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells. The FAS activity and FAS inhibition were measured by a spectrophotometer at 340 nm of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) absorption. We found that SBP potently inhibited the activity of FAS with a half-inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 0.087 μg/ml. 3-4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,3-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was used to test the cell viability. SBP reduced MDA-MB-231 cell viability with an IC50 value of 37.5 μg/ml. Hoechst 33258/propidium iodide dual staining and flow cytometric analysis showed that SBP induced MDA-MB-231 cell apoptosis. SBP inhibited intracellular FAS activity with a dose-dependent manner. In addition, sodium palmitate could rescue the cell apoptosis induced by SBP. These results showed that SBP was a promising FAS inhibitor which could induce the apoptosis of MDA-MB-231 cells via inhibiting FAS. These findings suggested that SBP might be useful for preventing or treating breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / drug effects
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Hippophae* / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Phytotherapy / methods*
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology*
  • Seeds


  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Fatty Acid Synthases