Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cytotoxicity induced in Bladder Cancer Cells by Frankincense

Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity
Mark Barton Frank , Qing Yang , Jeanette Osban , Joseph T Azzarello , Marcia R Saban , Ricardo Saban , Richard A Ashley , Jan C Welter , Kar-Ming Fung and Hsueh-Kung Lin

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2009, 9:6doi:10.1186/1472-6882-9-6

Published: 18 March 2009
Abstract (provisional)

Originating from Africa, India, and the Middle East, frankincense oil has been important both socially and economically as an ingredient in incense and perfumes for thousands of years. Frankincense oil is prepared from aromatic hardened gum resins obtained by tapping Boswellia trees. One of the main components of frankincense oil is boswellic acid, a component known to have anti-neoplastic properties. The goal of this study was to evaluate frankincense oil for its anti-tumor activity and signaling pathways in bladder cancer cells.

Frankincense oil-induced cell viability was investigated in human bladder cancer J82 cells and immortalized normal bladder urothelial UROtsa cells. Temporal regulation of frankincense oil-activated gene expression in bladder cancer cells was identified by microarray and bioinformatics analysis.

Within a range of concentration, frankincense oil suppressed cell viability in bladder transitional carcinoma J82 cells but not in UROtsa cells. Comprehensive gene expression analysis confirmed that frankincense oil activates genes that are responsible for cell cycle arrest, cell growth suppression, and apoptosis in J82 cells. However, frankincense oil-induced cell death in J82 cells did not result in DNA fragmentation, a hallmark of apoptosis.

Frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability. Microarray and bioinformatics analysis proposed multiple pathways that can be activated by frankincense oil to induce bladder cancer cell death. Frankincense oil might represent an alternative intravesical agent for bladder cancer treatment.

The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer

Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer: A Proteomics Approach Using 2-D Gel Analysis Software

Proteomics can be a useful tool in understanding the anti-cancer activity of vitamin E.

By Christian M. Muenyi, Dr. William L. Stone, Dr. Hamid Kasmai, and Hongsong Yang

Various forms of vitamin E have been under intensive study as chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agents for a number of cancers.1 Many in vitro, animal, and epidemiological studies have presented evidence of an anti-cancer activity for vitamin E, but there are few studies of vitamin E in prostate cancer,2 and the mechanisms by which forms of vitamin E induce apoptosis in cancer cells remains largely unknown.3 Therefore, proteomics may help to understand the molecular events associated with the cytotoxic effects of vitamin E on cancer cells.

Figure 1: Analysis of 2-D gel by Dymension software showing proteins that are up or down-regulated three hours after delta-tocotrienol treatment.

The purpose of the study was to characterize the proteomic changes occurring in a prostate cancer (LNCaP) cell line after treatment with delta-tocotrienol, a form of vitamin E. In this study, 2-D gel electrophoresis was used to detect changes in protein expression levels associated with this treatment. However, to determine which proteins in a complex 2-D gel image are being expressed requires specialist software to resolve protein spots accurately. Previously, using some 2-D analysis software packages, it was difficult and time consuming to manipulate gel images to obtain meaningful data. To overcome the analysis bottleneck, this article describes how Dymension (Syngene, Frederick, Md.), a 2-D gel image analysis software, can be used to rapidly show which proteins are up or down-regulated by treatment with delta-tocotrienol.