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Anti-Tumor Effect of Heat-Killed Bifidobacterium bifidum on Human Gastric Cancer through Akt-p53-Dependent Mitochondrial Apoptosis in Xenograft Models

  • 2022-08-29
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences 23(17)
    • SukJin Kim
    • H. H. Lee
    • Wonhyeok Choi
    • Chang-Ho Kang
    • Gun-Hee Kim
    • Hyosun Cho


Paraprobiotics, inactivated microbial cells, regulate immune system and exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in patients with weakened immunity or the elderly. This study evaluated the anti-tumor effects of heat-killed Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus on human gastric cancer MKN1 cells in vitro and in vivo in xenograft animal models. First, cytotoxicity and apoptosis in MKN1 cells of 11 different heat-killed Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus strains were examined using the MTT assay or flow cytometry, respectively. Then, BALB/c nude mice xenograft animal models were implanted with human gastric cancer MKN1 cells and orally administered a selected single or a mixture of heat-killed bacterial strains to investigate their inhibitory effect on tumor growth. In addition, the expression of p-Akt, p53, Bax, Bak, cleaved caspase-9, -3, and PARP in the tumor tissues was analyzed using Western blotting assay or immunohistochemistry staining. The results show that heat-killed B. bifidum MG731 (MG731), L. reuteri MG5346 (MG5346), and L. rhamnosus MG5200 (MG5200) induced relatively greater apoptosis than other strains in MKN1 cells. Oral administration of a single dose or a mixture of MG731, MG5346, or MG5200 significantly delayed tumor growth, and MG731 had the most effective anti-tumor effect in the xenograft model. Protein expression of p-Akt, p53, Bax, cleaved caspase-3 and -9, and PARP in tumors derived from the xenograft model correlated with the results of the immunohistochemistry staining.

Keywords: apoptosis; gastric cancer; paraprobiotics; xenograft.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium bifidum MAK53B66BReduced Tumor GrowthBeneficial

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