Tumor-suppressing potential of stingless bee propolis in in vitro and in vivo models of differentiated-type gastric adenocarcinoma

Mark Joseph Desamero, Shigeru Kakuta, Yulan Tang, James Kenn Chambers, Kazuyuki Uchida, Maria Amelita Estacio, Cleofas Cervancia, Yuri Kominami, Hideki Ushio, Jun Nakayama, Hiroyuki Nakayama, Shigeru Kyuwa
Scientific Reports 2019 December 23, 9 (1): 19635
The protective property of propolis across a wide spectrum of diseases has long been realized, yet the anti-tumor efficacy of this bioactive substance from Philippine stingless bees has remained poorly understood. Here, we showed the tumor-suppressing potential of crude ethanolic extract of Philippine stingless bee propolis (EEP) in in vitro models of gastric cancer highlighting the first indication of remarkable subtype specificity towards differentiated-type human gastric cancer cell lines but not the diffuse-type. Mechanistically, this involved the profound modulation of several cell cycle related gene transcripts, which correlated with the prominent cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 phase. To reinforce our data, a unique differentiated-type gastric cancer model, A4gnt KO mice, together with age-matched 60 week-old C57BL/6 J mice were randomly assigned to treatment groups receiving distilled water or EEP for 30 consecutive days. EEP treatment induced significant regression of gross and histological lesions of gastric pyloric tumors that consistently corresponded with specific transcriptional regulation of cell cycle components. Also, the considerable p21 protein expression coupled with a marked reduction in rapidly dividing BrdU-labeled S-phase cells unequivocally supported our observation. Altogether, these findings support the role of Philippine stingless bee propolis as a promising adjunct treatment option in differentiated-type gastric cancer.

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