Antiproliferative effects on colon adenocarcinoma cells induced by co-administration of vitamin K1 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

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Vitamin K (VK), an essential nutrient associated with the clotting cascade, has also been demonstrated to have anticancer properties in various cancer cells including colon cancer cells. Also probiotics have gained interest as potential anticancer agents. Among them, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (L.GG) has been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and polyamine biosynthesis as well as to induce apoptosis in different human gastrointestinal cancer cells. Nevertheless, the exact mechanisms involved in these actions are not completely elucidated. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to evaluate in three differently graded human colon cancer cells (namely Caco-2, HT-29 and SW480) the effects of increasing VK1 concentrations, administered alone or in combination with viable L.GG, on the cell proliferation evaluated by MTT test, apoptosis investigated by Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and the percentage of the apoptotic cells, and the cell cycle evaluated by MUSE cell analyzer. Both VK1 and L.GG administered alone up to 72 h, caused inhibition of proliferation, induction of apoptosis and the cell cycle arrest in all the tested colon cancer cells. When VK1 and L.GG were co-administered, the addition of increasing VK1 concentrations potentiated the probiotic antiproliferative effect in a dose-dependent manner, being also related to the individual features of each cell line. The effect was more evident in Caco-2 and HT-29 cells compared to the less differentiated SW480. The enhanced antiproliferative efficacy due to co-administration of L.GG and VK1 could represent a suitable option in a functional food strategy for cancer growth inhibition and chemoprevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2629-2638
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Chemoprevention
  • Colon cancer cells
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
  • Probiotics
  • Proliferation
  • Vitamin K1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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