Anti-angiogenic activity of cranberry proanthocyanidins and cytotoxic properties in ovarian cancer cells
Cranberry extracts may provide beneficial health effects in the treatment of various diseases, including cancer. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of antineoplastic properties are not understood. We report the effect of a proanthocyanidin (PAC)-rich isolate from cranberry (PAC-1) as a therapeutic agent with dual activity to target both ovarian cancer viability and angiogenesis in vitro. PAC-1 treatment of chemotherapy-resistant SKOV-3 cells blocked cell cycle progression through the G2/M phase, increased the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and induced apoptosis through activation of intrinsic and extrinsic pathway components. Cytotoxicity of PAC-1 was partially based on ROS generation and could be blocked by co-treatment with antioxidant glutathione. PAC-1 reduced the cell viability of both SKOV-3 ovarian cancer cells and HUVEC endothelial cells in a dose-dependent manner and blocked the activation of the pro-survival factor AKT. Furthermore, PAC-1 blocked vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-stimulated receptor phosphorylation in endothelial cells, which correlated with the inhibition of endothelial tube formation in vitro. Our findings suggest that PAC-1 exerts potent anticancer and anti-angiogenic properties and that highly purified PAC from cranberry can be further developed to treat ovarian cancer in combinational or single-agent therapy.