Natural Agents Inhibit Colon Cancer Cell Proliferation and Alter Microbial Diversity in Mice

PLoS One. 2020 Mar 20;15(3):e0229823. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229823. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

The current study was undertaken to investigate the effect of differentially formulated polyphenolic compound Essential Turmeric Oil-Curcumin (ETO-Cur), and Tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) of vitamin E isomers on colorectal cancer (CRC) cells that produce aggressive tumors. Combinations of ETO-Cur and TRF were used to determine the combinatorial effects of ETO-Cur and TRF-mediated inhibition of growth of CRC cells in vitro and HCT-116 cells xenograft in SCID mice. 16S rRNA gene sequence profiling was performed to determine the outcome of gut microbial communities in mice feces between control and ETO-Cur-TRF groups. Bacterial identifications were validated by performing SYBR-based Real Time (RT) PCR. For metagenomics analysis to characterize the microbial communities, multiple software/tools were used, including Quantitative Insights into Microbial Ecology (QIIME) processing tool. We found ETO-Cur and TRF to synergize and that the combination of ETO-Cur-TRF significantly inhibited growth of HCT-116 xenografts in SCID mice. This was associated with a marked alteration in microbial communities and increased microbial OTU (operation taxonomic unit) number. The relative abundance of taxa was increased and the level of microbial diversity after 34 days of combinatorial treatment was found to be 44% higher over the control. Shifting of microbial family composition was observed in ETO-Cur-TRF treated mice as evidenced by marked reductions in Bacteroidaceae, Ruminococcaceae, Clostridiales, Firmicutes and Parabacteroids families, compared to controls. Interestingly, during the inhibition of tumor growth in ETO-Cur treated mice, probiotic Lactobacillaceae and Bifidobacteriaceae were increased by 20-fold and 6-fold, respectively. The relative abundance of anti-inflammatory Clostridium XIVa was also increased in ETO-Cur-TRF treated mice when compared with the control. Our data suggest that ETO-Cur-TRF show synergistic effects in inhibiting colorectal cancer cell proliferation in vitro and in mouse xenografts in vivo, and might induce changes in microbial diversity in mice.

Publication types

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