Cranberry PACs and triterpenoids: anti-cancer activities in colon tumor cell lines
Phytochemicals from North American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) fruit may be expected to influence the development of colon cancer. Tissue-culture models were used to assess effects of cranberry components on cell proliferation, apoptosis, and the formation of tumor cell colonies. Several phytochemicals and fractions isolated from whole cranberry fruit were previously reported to inhibit growth and proliferation of breast, colon, prostate, and other tumor cell lines. In HT-29 and HCT116 colon tumor cell lines, cranberry proanthocyanidins (PACs) and ursolic acid inhibited the formation of tumor colonies over a two week period in a dose-dependent manner. Apoptosis is likely to play a role in limiting tumor cell proliferation. In HT-29 and HCT116 colon tumor cell lines treated with either ursolic acid or a cranberry proanthocyanidin fraction, the percentage of cells undergoing apoptosis increased in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, cranberry phytochemicals have the potential to limit carcinogenesis.