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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Carotenoids affect proliferation of human prostate cancer cells.

We investigated whether various carotenoids present in foodstuffs were potentially involved in cancer-preventing action on human prostate cancer. The effects of 15 kinds of carotenoids on the viability of three lines of human prostate cancer cells, PC-3, DU 145 and LNCaP, were evaluated. When the prostate cancer cells were cultured in a carotenoid-supplemented medium for 72 h at 20 micromol/L, 5,6-monoepoxy carotenoids, namely, neoxanthin from spinach and fucoxanthin from brown algae, significantly reduced cell viability to 10.9 and 14.9% for PC-3, 15.0 and 5.0% for DU 145, and nearly zero and 9.8% for LNCaP, respectively. Acyclic carotenoids such as phytofluene, zeta-carotene and lycopene, all of which are present in tomato, also significantly reduced cell viability. On the other hand, phytoene, canthaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin did not affect the growth of the prostate cancer cells. DNA fragmentation of nuclei in neoxanthin- and fucoxanthin-treated cells was detected by in situ TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Neoxanthin and fucoxanthin were found to reduce cell viability through apoptosis induction in the human prostate cancer cells. These results suggest that ingestion of leafy green vegetables and edible brown algae rich in neoxanthin and fucoxanthin might have the potential to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.[1]


  1. Carotenoids affect proliferation of human prostate cancer cells. Kotake-Nara, E., Kushiro, M., Zhang, H., Sugawara, T., Miyashita, K., Nagao, A. J. Nutr. (2001) [Pubmed]
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