Maslinic acid provides a natural defense against colon cancer

Jan 08, 2009

Researchers from the University of Granada and the University of Barcelona have shown that treatment with maslinic acid, a triterpenoid compound isolated from olive-skin pomace, results in a significant inhibition of cell proliferation and causes apoptotic death in colon-cancer cells. Maslinic acid is a novel natural compound and it is able to induce apoptosis or programmed death in human HT29 colon-cancer cells via the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. Scientifics suggest this could be a useful new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of colon carcinoma.

This study is the first to investigate the precise molecular mechanisms of the anti-tumoral and pro-apoptotic effects of maslinic acid against colon-cancer. Chemopreventive agents of a natural origin, often a part of our daily diet, may provide a cheap, effective way of controlling such diseases as cancer of the colon. A wide range of studies in recent years has shown that triterpenoids hinder carcinogenesis by intervening in pathways such as carcinogen activation, DNA repair, cell cycle arrest, cell differentiation and the induction of apoptosis in cancer cells.

Triterpenoids are compounds present in a wide range of plants used in traditional medicine and known to have antitumoral properties. Low concentrations of maslinic acid are to be found in plants with medicinal properties, but its concentration in the waxy skin of olives may be as high as 80%.

The results of the study could contribute to the development of maslinic acid for use as cancer chemotherapeutic or chemopreventive agents.

Paper: The research paper will be published in 2009 in the journal Cancer Letters, specialized in the broad area of cancer research, under the title "Maslinic acid, a natural triterpene from Olea europaea L., induces apoptosis in HT29 human colon-cancer cells via the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway"

Source: Universidad de Granada

Explore further: Chronic inflammation linked to 'high-grade' prostate cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers show fruit flies have latent bioluminescence

Apr 10, 2014

New research from Stephen C. Miller, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, shows that fruit flies are secretly harboring the biochemistry needed to glow in the dark—otherwise ...

Amino acid fingerprints revealed in new study

Apr 06, 2014

Some three billion base pairs make up the human genome—the floor plan of life. In 2003, the Human Genome Project announced the successful decryption of this code, a tour de force that continues to supply ...

Catching the early spread of breast cancer

Mar 19, 2014

When cancer spreads from one part of the body to another, it becomes even more deadly. It moves with stealth and can go undetected for months or years. But a new technology that uses "nano-flares" has the potential to catch ...

Recommended for you

Unraveling the 'black ribbon' around lung cancer

Apr 17, 2014

It's not uncommon these days to find a colored ribbon representing a disease. A pink ribbon is well known to signify breast cancer. But what color ribbon does one think of with lung cancer?

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.