Anticancer research

Branched chain amino acid suppressed insulin-initiated proliferation of human cancer cells through induction of autophagy.

PMID 25202059


Branched chain amino acid (BCAA) dietary supplementation inhibits activation of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF)/IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) axis in diabetic animal models. However, the in vitro effect of BCAA on human cancer cell lines under hyper-insulinemic conditions remains unclear. Colon (HCT-116) and hepatic (HepG2) tumor cells were treated with varying concentrations of BCAA with or without fluorouracil (5-FU). The effect of BCAA on insulin-initiated proliferation was determined. Gene and protein expression was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blotting, respectively. BCAA supplementation had no significant effect on cell proliferation and did not show significant synergistic or antagonistic effects with 5-FU. However, BCAA significantly decreased insulin-initiated proliferation of human colon and hepatic cancer cell lines in vitro. BCAA supplementation caused a marked decrease in activated IGF-IR expression and significantly enhanced both mRNA and protein expression of LC3-II and BECN1 (BECLIN-1). BCAA could be a useful chemopreventive modality for cancer in hyperinsulinemic conditions.