Generation of excess quantities of reactive oxygen species (ROS) caused by mitochondrial dysfunction facilitates rapid growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Elevated ROS levels in cancer cells cause an anti-apoptotic effect by activating survival signaling pathways, such as NF-κB and its target gene expression. Lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes and a potent antioxidant, displays a protective effect against pancreatic cancer. The present study was designed to determine if lycopene induces apoptosis of pancreatic cancer PANC-1 cells by decreasing intracellular and mitochondrial ROS levels, and consequently suppressing NF-κB activation and expression of NF-κB target genes including cIAP1, cIAP2, and survivin. The results show that the lycopene decreased intracellular and mitochondrial ROS levels, mitochondrial function (determined by the mitochondrial membrane potential and oxygen consumption rate), NF-κB activity, and expression of NF-κB-dependent survival genes in PANC-1 cells. Lycopene reduced cell viability with increases in active caspase-3 and the Bax to Bcl-2 ratio in PANC-1 cells. These findings suggest that supplementation of lycopene could potentially reduce the incidence of pancreatic cancer.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments: This study was supported by a Brain Korea 21 PLUS Project, College of Human Ecology, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea. Part of this manuscript is presented at Experimental Biology 2016, San Diego, CA, USA (2–6 April 2016). The abstract of the presentation was published in the FASEB Journal 30(1), Supp. 691.23, 2016.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics