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Lactobacillus plantarum Metabolites Elicit Anticancer Effects by Inhibiting Autophagy-Related Responses

  • 2023-02-16
  • Molecules 28(4)
    • S. Jeong
    • Yuju Kim
    • Soyeong Park
    • Doyeon Lee
    • Juho Lee
    • S. Hlaing
    • Jin-Wook Yoo
    • S. Rhee
    • E. Im


Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) is a probiotic that has emerged as novel therapeutic agents for managing various diseases, such as cancer, atopic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and infections. In this study, we investigated the potential mechanisms underlying the anticancer effect of the metabolites of L. plantarum. We cultured L. plantarum cells to obtain their metabolites, created several dilutions, and used these solutions to treat human colonic Caco-2 cells. Our results showed a 10% dilution of L. plantarum metabolites decreased cell viability and reduced the expression of autophagy-related proteins. Moreover, we found co-treatment with L. plantarum metabolites and chloroquine, a known autophagy inhibitor, had a synergistic effect on cytotoxicity and downregulation of autophagy-related protein expression. In conclusion, we showed the metabolites from the probiotic, L. plantarum, work synergistically with chloroquine in killing Caco-2 cells and downregulating the expression of autophagy-related proteins, suggesting the involvement of autophagy, rather than apoptosis, in their cytotoxic effect. Hence, this study provides new insights into new therapeutic methods via inhibiting autophagy.

Keywords: Lactobacillus; autophagy; chloroquine; metabolites; probiotics; tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester (TMRE).

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus plantarumReduced Cancer Cell ViabilityBeneficial
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