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Purified cranberry proanthocyanidines (PAC-1A) cause pro-apoptotic signaling, ROS generation, cyclophosphamide retention and cytotoxicity in high-risk neuroblastoma cells

Singh AP, Lange TS, Kim KK, Brard L, Horan T, Moore RG, Vorsa N, Singh RK.
Int J Oncol 40(1):99-108

Optimized purification of oligomeric proanthocyanidines (PAC) from cranberry generated PAC-1A which selectively affected the viability of various neuroblastoma (NB) cell lines representing a spectrum of high-risk NB features. PAC-1A caused a loss of mitochondrial transmembrane depolarization potential (∆Ψm) and increased generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which was directly correlated to the modulation of apoptotic marker proteins in SMS-KCNR cells. PAC-1A reduced the expression of pro-survival (Bcl-2, MCL-1, Bcl-xL) and increased levels of pro-apoptotic (Bax, Bad, Bid) Bcl family proteins, upregulated the activity of SAPK/JNK MAPK and downregulated expression or activity of PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway components. PAC-1A increased the cellular uptake/retention of cyclophosphamide (CP). PAC-1A and CP synergistically increased cytotoxicity and expression of pro-apoptotic markers, reduced cellular glutathione (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. Additional features of PAC-1A as an anticancer drug as shown in SMS-KCNR NB cells include delay of cell cycle progression and induction of cell death via TNF-family death receptor activity, thus, targeting both the extrinsic and intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. PAC-1A partially blocked the cell cycle in G2/M phase which correlated with a decrease of the G0/G1 subpopulation, upregulation of cyclin D1 and downregulation of CDK6 and p27 expression. In summary, PAC-1A has demonstrated chemotherapeutic potential to treat a broad spectrum of NBs including highly malignant tumors that show resistance to standard chemotherapeutics and apoptotic stimuli.