Active component of grape seed extract effective against cancer cells

December 4, 2013
An active ingredient of grape seed extract, B2G2, acts against cancer cells.

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published online ahead of print in the journal Nutrition and Cancer describes the laboratory synthesis of the most active component of grape seed extract, B2G2, and shows this synthesized compound induces the cell death known as apoptosis in prostate cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

"We've shown similar anti-cancer activity in the past with grape seed extract (GSE), but now we know B2G2 is its most biologically active ingredient which can be synthesized in quantities that will allow us to study the detailed death mechanism in cancer cells," says Alpna Tyagi, PhD, of the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Tyagi works in the lab of CU Cancer Center investigator and Skaggs School of Pharmacy faculty member, Chapla Agarwal, PhD.

The group has spent more than a decade demonstrating the anti-cancer activity of GSE in controlled, laboratory conditions. For example, previous studies have shown the GSE effectiveness against cancer cells and have also shown its mechanism of action. "But until recently, we didn't know which constituent of GSE created this effect. This naturally occurring compound, GSE, is a complex mixture of polyphenols and also so far it has been unclear about the biologically active constituents of GSE against ," Tyagi says.

Eventually the group pinpointed B2G2 as the most active compound, but, "it's expensive and it takes a long time to isolate B2G2 from ," Tyagi says.

This expense related to the isolation of B2G2 has limited the group's further exploration. So instead of purifying B2G2 from GSE, the group decided to synthesize it in the lab. The current study reports the success of this effort, including the ability to synthesize gram-quantity of B2G2 reasonably quickly and inexpensively.

In the paper's second half, the group shows anti-cancer activity of synthesized B2G2 similar in mechanism and degree to overall GSE effectiveness.

"Our goal all along has been a clinical trial of the biologically active compounds from GSE against human cancer. But it's difficult to earn FDA approval for a trial in which we don't know the mechanisms and possible effects of all active components. Therefore, isolating and synthesizing B2G2 is an important step because now we have the ability to conduct more experiments with the pure compound. Ongoing work in the lab further increases our understanding of B2G2′s mechanism of action that will help for the preclinical and clinical studies in the future," Tyagi says.

More information: www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01635581.2013.783602

Related Stories

Milk thistle extract stops lung cancer in mice

November 15, 2011

Tissue with wound-like conditions allows tumors to grow and spread. In mouse lung cancer cells, treatment with silibinin, a major component of milk thistle, removed the molecular billboards that signal these wound-like conditions ...

Renal cancer cells target of new bark-derived drug

November 5, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Associate Professor Joe W. Ramos, PhD, a cancer biologist at the University of Hawai'i Cancer Center in collaboration with Assistant Professor William Chain, PhD, from the UH Mānoa's Chemistry Department ...

Recommended for you

Strange circular DNA may offer new way to detect cancers

July 30, 2015

Strange rings of DNA that exist outside chromosomes are distinct to the cell types that mistakenly produced them, researchers have discovered. The finding raises the tantalizing possibility that the rings could be used as ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.