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The flavouring phytochemical 2-pentanone reduces prostaglandin production and COX-2 expression in colon cancer cells.Many phytochemicals found in the diet may prevent colon carcinogenesis by affecting biochemical processes in the colonic mucosa. Inflammation and subsequent elevation of the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are two such factors involved in the development of colon cancer, and inhibition of these processes could be important targets for chemoprevention. We have previously shown COX-2 inhibitory activity locally in the colon; e.g. in human fecal water from a group of vegetarians. In this study we focus on 2-pentanone, a frequently occurring compound in common foods such as banana and carrot. The aim was to study the inhibitory effects on prostaglandin production and COX-2 protein expression in tumour necrosis factor-alpha stimulated colon cancer cells (HT29) by radioimmunoassay and Western blotting. 2-Pentanone inhibited both prostaglandin production and COX-2 protein expression in human colon cancer cells. A concentration of 400 mumol/l 2-pentanone inhibited the prostaglandin production by 56.9+/-12.9% which is in the same range as the reference compound NS398 (59.8+/-7.6%). The two highest concentrations of 2-pentanone were further analyzed by Western blot, and 400 micromol/l and 200 micromol/l 2-pentanone resulted in a 53.3+/-9.6% and +/-27.1% reduction of the COX-2 protein levels respectively. Further studies on flavouring compounds, for example 2-pentanone, as colon cancer chemopreventives would be very valuable, and such results may contribute to future dietary recommendations.
NMR metabolomic analysis of fecal water from subjects on a vegetarian diet.A vegetarian diet rich in phytochemicals may prevent colon carcinogenesis by affecting biochemical processes in the colonic mucosa. Compounds passing the digestive system reaching the colon could potentially be detected in fecal water. We previously reported that intact fecal water samples from human volunteers significantly decreased prostaglandin production and COX-2 protein expression in colonic cells. The aim with the present study was to further study the composition of the fecal waters, using NMR spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis, and to trace the COX-2 inhibiting activity. Intact fecal water samples and fractions thereof were analyzed for their ability to inhibit prostaglandin E2 production in the human colon cell line HT-29. The majority of the tested aqueous phases derived from intact fecal water showed ability to inhibit prostaglandin production in cells (13.8+/-1.34% inhibition, p=0.01). NMR analysis indicated the presence of significant quantities of amino acids and fatty acids. Major metabolites included; acetic acid, butanoic acid, propanoic acid, glutamic acid and alanine. Smaller amounts of glycine and fumaric acid, which are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic properties, were also detected. This study describes for the first time NMR metabolomic analysis of fecal water from subjects on a vegetarian diet.