Proanthocyanidins from the American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity in human prostate cancer cells via alterations in multiple cellular signalling pathways.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in the Western world, and it is believed that an individual's diet affects his risk of developing cancer. There has been an interest in examining phytochemicals, the secondary metabolites of plants, in order to determine their potential anti-cancer activities in vitro and in vivo. In this study we document the effects of proanthocyanidins (PACs) from the American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity in DU145 human prostate cancer cells. Cranberry PACs decreased cellular viability of DU145 cells at a concentration of 25 µg/ml by 30% after 6 h of treatment. Treatment of DU145 cells with PACs resulted in an inhibition of both MMPs 2 and 9 activity. PACs increased the expression of TIMP-2, a known inhibitor of MMP activity, and decreased the expression of EMMPRIN, an inducer of MMP expression. PACs decreased the expression of PI-3 kinase and AKT proteins, and increased the phosphorylation of both p38 and ERK1/2. Cranberry PACs also decreased the translocation of the NF-κB p65 protein to the nucleus. Cranberry PACs increased c-jun and decreased c-fos protein levels. These results suggest that cranberry PACs decreases MMP activity through the induction and/or inhibition of specific temporal MMP regulators, and by affecting either the phosphorylation status and/or expression of MAP kinase, PI-3 kinase, NF-κB and AP-1 pathway proteins. This study further demonstrates that cranberry PACs are a strong candidate for further research as novel anti-cancer agents.