Inhibition of Prostate Cancer Cells by 4,5-Dicaffeoylquinic Acid through Cell Cycle Arrest


Prostate cancer is a major cause of cancer-related mortality in men. Even though current therapeutic management has contributed to reducing mortality, additional intervention strategies are warranted to further improve the outcomes. To this end, we have investigated the efficacy of dicaffeoylquinic acids, ingredients in Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis), an evergreen cultivated in South America, the leaves of which are used to prepare a tea/coffee-like drink. Of the various analogs tested, 4,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (4,5-diCQA) was the most active molecule against DU-145 prostate cancer cells with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 5 μM. 4,5-diCQA was active both under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. The effect of 72-hour treatment on DU-145 cells persisted for an extended time period as assessed by clonogenic assay. Mechanistic studies revealed that the toxic effect was not due to induction of programmed cell death but through cell cycle arrest at S phase. Additionally, 4,5-diCQA did not impact PI3K/MAPK signaling pathway nor did it affect the depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane. 4,5-diCQA-induced accumulation of cells in the S-phase also seems to negatively impact Bcl-2 expression. 4,5-diCQA also exhibited inhibitory activity on LNCaP and PC-3 prostate cancer cells suggesting that it has therapeutic potential on a broad range of prostate cancers. Taken together, the novel inhibitory activity and mechanism of action of 4,5-diCQA opens up potential therapeutic options for using this molecule as monotherapy as well as in combinatorial therapies for the clinical management of prostate cancer.

—23 May 2019

KeenZineFighting the Big C with the 3 C’s

“Recently, I’ve made cancer the focus of Georgia Tech’s Quantitative Engineering Physiology Course. The global impact of this disease is clear and the recently launched “Cancer Moonshot” initiative makes it a timely topic. We challenge our students to own their laboratory experiences and engineer strategies to interfere with the physiological processes that lead to cancer. Student teams develop their own comprehensive research proposals, which then become the foundation for experimental validation in the lab and employing relevant techniques.”

—from KEENZine