University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Division of Agriculture


Prune, colorectal cancer, diet-related


Prune consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer; yet there has been confusion as to which chemical component(s) of the prune are responsible for its anticarcinogenic properties. Previous studies have evaluated chlorogenic acid as a chemotherapeutic agent; however, only a limited amount of studies have investigated neochlorogenic acid, the predominant phenolic compound found in the prune. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects that chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid have as anticarcinogenics on the human adenocarcinoma, Caco-2 cell line. The anti-colon cancer effects of chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid were analyzed by experiments that measured cell proliferation and morphology in culture of Caco-2 cells. Treatment of cells with chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid significantly reduced cell proliferation at concentrations of 150-500 µmol at 24, 48, and 72 hours by 63.7-96.0% and 69.7- 94.2%, respectively (P < 0.05). At the majority of sample times and concentrations, chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid did not significantly differ in percent reduction of viable cells (P < 0.05). The cell morphology of treated cells changed, as the surface of cells became more rough, uneven, and irregularly-shaped as the concentration of the treatment increased, compared to the untreated Caco-2 cell. These findings of significant cell proliferation inhibition suggest that both chlorogenic acid and neochlorogenic acid could be colon cancer suppressive components of the prune.