Anticarcinogenic properties of medium chain fatty acids on human colorectal, skin and breast cancer cells in vitro

Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Mar 5;16(3):5014-27. doi: 10.3390/ijms16035014.

Abstract

Colorectal cancer, breast cancer and skin cancer are commonly-reported cancer types in the U.S. Although radiation and chemotherapy are routinely used to treat cancer, they produce side effects in patients. Additionally, resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs has been noticed in cancers. Thus, there is a need for effective and safe bioprophylactics and biotherapeutics in cancer therapy. The medicinal value of goat milk has been recognized for centuries and is primarily attributed to three fatty acids, namely capric, caprylic and caproic acids. This research investigates the anticancer property of these fatty acids on human colorectal, skin and mammary gland cancer cells. The cancer cells were treated with various concentrations of fatty acids for 48 h, and cell viability was monitored by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction assay. Additionally, real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) was performed to elucidate the potential anti-cancer mechanisms of the three fatty acids under investigation. Capric, caprylic and caproic acids reduced cancer cell viability by 70% to 90% (p < 0.05) compared to controls. RT-qPCR data indicated that these natural molecules produced anticancer effects by down-regulating cell cycle regulatory genes and up-regulating genes involved in apoptosis. Future research will validate the anticancer effect of these fatty acids in an appropriate in vivo model.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Caproates / chemistry
  • Caproates / pharmacology
  • Caproates / therapeutic use
  • Caprylates / chemistry
  • Caprylates / pharmacology
  • Caprylates / therapeutic use
  • Caspase 8 / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / metabolism
  • Decanoic Acids / chemistry
  • Decanoic Acids / pharmacology
  • Decanoic Acids / therapeutic use
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Female
  • Goats
  • HCT116 Cells
  • Humans
  • Milk / metabolism
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 4, Group A, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Caproates
  • Caprylates
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Decanoic Acids
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 4, Group A, Member 1
  • hexanoic acid
  • decanoic acid
  • Caspase 8
  • octanoic acid