Cancer News

Researchers investigate the influence of gut microbiota on the anti-cancer effects of Oplopanax elatus


Researchers from China’s National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Disorders and the Hunan University of Chinese Medicine studied how anti-cancer compounds from Oplopanax elatus (nakai) interact with the human gut microbiota. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • The polyyne-enriched fraction of O. elatus  (PEFO) has shown anti-colorectal cancer (CRC) effects, but the influence of human gut microbiota on these active compounds is unknown.
  • The researchers analyzed and identified compounds in PEFO and PEFO incubated with human gut microbiota using a high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometer (HPLC-DAD-QTOF-MS).
  • Over the course of the incubation, the two main polyynes in PEFO ((3S,S,8S)S)-falcarindiol and oplopandiol) were not significantly decomposed, but new compounds were discovered.
  • The researchers constructed an inflammation-associated colon tumor model using the AOM/DSS model in mice to confirm the anti-CRC activity of PEFO in vivo.
  • They also conducted tests using human CRC cell lines, specifically HCT-116, SW-480 and HT-29 cells.
  • The researchers found that the antiproliferative effects of PEFO incubated with human gut microbiota for 72 hours (PEFO I) were much weaker than those of PEFO on HCT-116, SW-480 and HT-29 cells.
  • PEFO also exhibited better anti-CRC activity in vivo and significantly induced apoptosis of CRC cells compared with PEFO incubated with human gut microbiota.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that the anti-cancer activity of polyynes from O. elatus may be antagonized by some bioconverted metabolites after incubation with human gut microbiota. This suggests that it would be better for CRC prevention if the polyynes were administered orally as purified compounds.

Journal Reference:

Wang J, Shao L, Rao T, Zhang W, Huang WH. CHEMO-PREVENTIVE POTENTIAL OF FALCARINDIOL-ENRICHED FRACTION FROM OPLOPANAX ELATUS ON COLORECTCAL CANCER INTERFERED BY HUMAN GUT MICROBIOTA. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 6 September 2019; 1–24. DOI:10.1142/s0192415x1950071x

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