Apoptotic Effect of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on Human Colon Cancer SW480 Cells by Regulation of Akt/NF-ĸB Signaling Pathway

  • Sara Shamekhi
  • Jalal Abdolalizadeh
  • Alireza Ostadrahimi
  • Seyyed Abolghasem Mohammadi
  • Abolfazl Barzegari
  • Hajie Lotfi
  • Esat Bonabi
  • Nosratollah ZarghamiEmail author


Drug resistance is one of the major problems, which causes recurrence of cancers. Therefore, complementary treatments are needed to improve the impacts of chemotherapy agents. The effect of probiotics as cancer-preventing agents through involvement in the activation of apoptotic pathways has been established. The present study sought to investigate how the heat-killed form of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (as a probiotic) could affect the Akt/NF-kB-induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells, the SW480 cell line. The cytotoxic effects of heat-killed yeast (HKY) and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU, as a positive control drug) were assayed using the MTT method. Morphological changes followed by apoptosis were examined using DAPI staining. The transcription and translation level of apoptosis genes were explored with qRT-PCR and western blotting. The data were analyzed using GraphPad Prism V6.0 Software. The results showed that HKY could induce apoptosis in colon cancer cell line through downregulation of p-Akt1, Rel A, Bcl-XL, pro-caspase 3, and pro-caspase 9 expressions, and upregulation of BAX, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved caspase-9. Besides, Akt protein expression was not affected. It is noticeable that HKY had a better modulating effect on BAX expression compared with 5-FU. It was able to modulate Akt/NF-kB signaling pathway followed by the apoptotic cascade.


Akt/NF-kB signaling pathway Apoptosis Colorectal cancer Probiotics Saccharomyces cerevisiae 


Funding Information

This study was financially supported by grant No: 977521 of the National Institute for Medical Research Development (NIMAD), Tehran, Iran.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Shamekhi
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jalal Abdolalizadeh
    • 3
    • 4
  • Alireza Ostadrahimi
    • 1
  • Seyyed Abolghasem Mohammadi
    • 2
    • 5
  • Abolfazl Barzegari
    • 2
  • Hajie Lotfi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Esat Bonabi
    • 6
  • Nosratollah Zarghami
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Nutrition Research CenterTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  2. 2.Department of Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Advanced Medical SciencesTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  3. 3.Drug Applied Research CenterTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  4. 4.Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical BiotechnologyTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran
  5. 5.Department of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of TabrizTabrizIran
  6. 6.Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of MedicineIstanbul Aydin UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  7. 7.Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of MedicineTabriz University of Medical SciencesTabrizIran

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