Lutein inhibits breast cancer cell growth by suppressing antioxidant and cell survival signals and induces apoptosis.
J Cell Physiol. 2020 Jul 24. Epub 2020 Jul 24. PMID: 32710479
Yogendra Prasad Kavalappa
Reduced risk of breast cancer upon intake of lutein-rich food supplements creates an interest to investigate the molecular mechanism underlying the growth inhibitory potential of lutein in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Lutein purified from Spinacia oleracea was identified by high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The cell viability was measured by water-soluble tetrazolium-1 assay. The intracellular reactive oxygen species level was examined by 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein assay. The protein expression of the markers of antioxidant defense, cell survival, and apoptosis was analyzed by western blot analysis. The induction of apoptosis by lutein was measured by 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining and caspase-3 activity assay. The purified lutein inhibited the viability of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. The growth inhibitory effect of lutein was associated with suppressed protein expression of superoxide dismutase-2 and heme oxygenase-1, and its transcription factor nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2. Lutein treatment subsequently blocked the expression of intracellular cell survival proteins, phosphorylated protein kinase B, phosphorylated extracellular-regulated kinase 1/2, and nuclear factor-kB. Suppression of antioxidant defense and cell survival markers by lutein was further linked to apoptosis induction with elevated caspase-3 activity and downregulated expression of Bcl-2 and poly-ADP ribose polymerase. Our results emphasize a significant role of lutein as an effective inhibitor of human breast cancer cell growth that activates cell death partly through the modulation of antioxidant defense response-linked cell survival signaling markers.