Eugenia jambolana (Java Plum) Fruit Extract Exhibits Anti-Cancer Activity against Early Stage Human HCT-116 Colon Cancer Cells and Colon Cancer Stem Cells.
Cancers (Basel). 2016 ;8(3). Epub 2016 Feb 26. PMID: 26927179
The World Health Organization predicts over a 70% increase in cancer incidents in developing nations over the next decade. Although these nations have limited access to novel therapeutics, they do have access to foods that contain chemopreventive bioactive compounds such as anthocyanins, and as such, consumption of these foods can be encouraged to combat cancer. We and others have previously characterized the anti-colon cancer properties of dietary anthocyanins from different sources. Eugenia jambolana (Java plum) is a tropical medicinal fruit rich in anthocyanins, however, its anti-colon cancer properties are not well characterized. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that colon cancer stem cells (colon CSCs) promote resistance to chemotherapy, relapse of tumors and contribute to poor prognosis. The objectives of this study were to 1) characterize the anthocyanin profile of Java plum using HPLC-MS; and 2) determine the anti-proliferative (cell counting and MTT) and pro-apoptotic (TUNEL and caspase 3/7 glo assay) properties of Java plum fruit extract (JPE) using HCT-116 colon cancer cell line and colon CSCs (positive for CD 44, CD 133 and ALDH1b1 markers). HPLC-MS analysis showed that JPE contains a variety of anthocyanins including glucosides of delphinidin, cyanidin, petunidin, peonidin and malvidin. JPE anthocyanins suppressed (p<0.05) proliferation in HCT-116 cells and elevated (p<0.05) apoptosis in both HCT-116 cells and colon CSCs. JPE also suppressed the stemness in colon CSCs as evaluated using colony formation assay. These results warrant further assessment of the anti-cancer activity of JPE, and its molecular mechanisms using pre-clinical models of colon cancer.