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Vitamin C induces apoptosis in human colon cancer cells through endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial pathway *

It has been reported that vitamin C plays an effective role in the treatment and prevention of cancer, but its specific mechanism is still not fully understood. In particular, the effect of vitamin C on the treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer, which has been increasingly a common disease in South Korea due to westernized diet of many Koreans, is still largely unknown. Therefore, we have examined the effects of vitamin C on the induction of apoptosis on HCT-8, human colon cancer cell line. We have first confirmed that the optimal concentrations of vitamin C for the induction of apoptosis on human colon cancer cell line, HCT-8 is 2 mM of vitamin C. Here we demonstrated that vitamin C induced ER stress through redox imbalance as antioxidant and, increased cytosol calcium level. Then, we investigated the changes of ER-stress induced molecules. As a result, the phosphorylation of pro-apoptotic protein, Bad decreased and Bad, which was subsequently released from 14-3-3, was translocated to the mitochondria. In addition, we also found that the vitamin C increased expression of pro-apoptotic protein, Bax and tumor suppressor gene product, p53, which usually resulted in apoptosis, in a time dependent manner. Moreover, we have witnessed that vitamin C treatment disrupts mitochondrial membrane potential in HCT-8, human colon cancer cell line. Taken together, vitamin C induced redox imbalance, resulting in apoptosis in human colon cancer cells by both endoplasmic reticulum stress and Bad/p53/Bax-mediated activation of mitochondrial pathway.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 09-04-2009
Authors: Jee Eun Kim, Jae Seung Kang, Da Jung Jung, Eunsil Hahm, Seung Koo Lee, Se Yeon Bae, Young Il Hwang, Dong Hoon Shin and Wang Jae Lee
Source: The Journal of Immunology, 2007, 178, 49.25