Pomegranate polyphenolics suppressed azoxymethane-induced colorectal aberrant crypt foci and inflammation: possible role of miR-126/VCAM-1 and miR-126/PI3K/AKT/mTOR. Academic Article uri icon


  • The antitumorigenic activities of polyphenols such as ellagitannins and anthocyanins in pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) have been previously studied where cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects were evident in various cancer models. The objective of this study was to investigate the role of miR-126/vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) and miR-126/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in pomegranate-mediated anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effects in vivo and in vitro. Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10 per group) received pomegranate juice (2504.74 mg gallic acid equivalents/l) or a polyphenol-free control beverage ad libitum for 10 weeks and were injected with azoxymethane (AOM) subcutaneously (15mg/kg) at weeks 2 and 3. Consumption of pomegranate juice suppressed the number of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and dysplastic ACF by 29 and 53.5% (P = 0.05 and 0.04), respectively, and significantly lowered proliferation of mucosa cells. Pomegranate juice significantly downregulated proinflammatory enzymes nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression. In addition, it suppressed nuclear factor-B and VCAM-1 mRNA and protein expression in AOM-treated rats. Pomegranate also inhibited phosphorylation of PI3K/AKT and mTOR expression and increased the expression of miR-126. The specific target and functions of miR-126 were investigated in HT-29 colon cancer cell lines. In vitro, the involvement of miR-126 was confirmed using the antagomiR for miR-126, where pomegranate reversed the effects of the antagomiR on the expression of miR-126, VCAM-1 and PI3K p85. In summary, therapeutic potentials of pomegranate in colon tumorigenesis were due in part to targeting miR-126-regulated pathways, which contributes in the underlying anti-inflammatory mechanisms.

published proceedings

  • Carcinogenesis

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Banerjee, N., Kim, H., Talcott, S., & Mertens-Talcott, S.

citation count

  • 101

complete list of authors

  • Banerjee, Nivedita||Kim, Hyemee||Talcott, Stephen||Mertens-Talcott, Susanne

publication date

  • December 2013