Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaves or greens, extensively consumed as a vegetable in Africa and Asia, are an excellent source of dietary polyphenols such as anthocyanins and phenolic acids. Here, we show that sweet potato greens extract (SPGE) has the maximum polyphenol content compared with several commercial vegetables including spinach. The polyphenol-rich SPGE exerts significant antiproliferative activity in a panel of prostate cancer cell lines while sparing normal prostate epithelial cells. Mechanistically, SPGE perturbed cell cycle progression, reduced clonogenic survival, modulated cell cycle and apoptosis regulatory molecules and induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer PC-3 cells both in vitro and in vivo. SPGE-induced apoptosis has a mitochondrially mediated component, which was attenuated by pretreatment with cyclosporin A. We also observed alterations of apoptosis regulatory molecules such as inactivation of Bcl2, upregulation of BAX, cytochrome c release and activation of downstream apoptotic signaling. SPGE caused DNA degradation as evident by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining of increased concentration of 3′-DNA ends. Furthermore, apoptotic induction was caspase dependent as shown by cleavage of caspase substrate, poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase. Oral administration of 400 mg/kg SPGE remarkably inhibited growth and progression of prostate tumor xenografts by ∼69% in nude mice, as shown by tumor volume measurements and non-invasive real-time bioluminescent imaging. Most importantly, SPGE did not cause any detectable toxicity to rapidly dividing normal tissues such as gut and bone marrow. This is the first report to demonstrate the in vitro and in vivo anticancer activity of sweet potato greens in prostate cancer.
Journal Article. 6324 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics
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