A natural food sweetener with anti-pancreatic cancer properties

Oncogenesis. 2016 Apr 11;5(4):e217. doi: 10.1038/oncsis.2016.28.

Abstract

Mogroside V is a triterpenoid isolated from the traditional Chinese medical plant Siraitia grosvenorii. Mogroside V has a high degree of sweetness and a low calorific content. Herein, we found that mogroside V possesses tumor growth inhibitory activity in in vitro and in vivo models of pancreatic cancer by promoting apoptosis and cell cycle arrest of pancreatic cancer cells (PANC-1 cells), which may in part be mediated through regulating the STAT3 signaling pathway. These results were confirmed in vivo in a mouse xenograft model of pancreatic cancer. In xenograft tumors, Ki-67 and PCNA, the most commonly used markers of tumor cell proliferation, were downregulated after intravenous administration of mogroside V. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling assays showed that mogroside V treatment promoted apoptosis of pancreatic cancer cells in the xenograft tumors. Furthermore, we found that mogroside V treatment significantly reduced the expression of CD31-labeled blood vessels and of the pro-angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor in the xenografts, indicating that mogroside V might limit the growth of pancreatic tumors by inhibiting angiogenesis and reducing vascular density. These results therefore demonstrate that the natural, sweet-tasting compound mogroside V can inhibit proliferation and survival of pancreatic cancer cells via targeting multiple biological targets.