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Comparative Effects of Boric Acid and Calcium Fructoborate on Breast Cancer Cells


Recent studies suggested that boron has a chemo-preventive role in prostate cancer. In the present report, we investigated the effects of calcium fructoborate (CF) and boric acid (BA) on activation of the apoptotic pathway in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Exposure to BA and CF inhibited the proliferation of breast cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment with CF but not BA resulted in a decrease in p53 and bcl-2 protein levels. Furthermore, after the treatment with CF, augmentation of pro-caspase-3 protein expression, cytosolic cytochrome c level, and caspase-3 activity were observed, indicating apoptotic cell death induction. This was also demonstrated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated 2′-deoxyuridine 5′-triphosphate nick-end-labeling assay. In conclusion, our data provide arguments to the fact that both BA and CF inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells, while only CF induced apoptosis. Additional studies will be needed to identify the underlying mechanism responsible for the observed cellular responses to these compounds and to determine if BA and CF may be further evaluated as chemotherapeutic agents for human cancer.

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Correspondence to R. Scorei.

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Scorei, R., Ciubar, R., Ciofrangeanu, C.M. et al. Comparative Effects of Boric Acid and Calcium Fructoborate on Breast Cancer Cells. Biol Trace Elem Res 122, 197–205 (2008).

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  • Boric acid (BA)
  • Calcium fructoborate (CF)
  • Breast cancer
  • Apoptosis
  • MDA-MB-231