Portulaca oleracea extract reduces gut microbiota imbalance and inhibits colorectal cancer progression via inactivation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway
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BACKGROUND: Portulaca oleracea is a known medicinal plant with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities, and it may also function an important role in colorectal cancer (CRC). PURPOSE: We probed into study the critical function of Portulaca oleracea extract (POE) in CRC and the related downstream factors. METHODS: Azoxymethane (AOM) and dextransodiumsulfate (DSS) were used to induce mouse models of CRC, which were then administered different doses of POE to evaluate the therapeutic effects of POE on CRC. Diversity, abundance, and function of gut microbiota were analyzed. Moreover, the potential molecular targets of POE inhibiting CRC development were determined. Expression of c-Myc and cyclin D1 as well as CRC cell proliferation and apoptosis was detected. RESULTS: POE treatment inhibited AOM/DSS-induced CRC development in mice and ameliorated gut microbial imbalance. Bioinformatic analysis revealed marked differences in the gut microbiota between CRC samples and normal samples and that 20 differential microbiota may be involved in CRC development through the Wnt signaling pathway. Additionally, c-Myc and cyclin D1 were identified to be the key downstream target genes of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. In vitro data revealed that POE played a suppressive role in the proliferation of CRC cells by reducing the expression of c-Myc and cyclin D1 and inactivating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. CONCLUSION: This study underlines that POE reduces gut microbiota imbalance and inhibits CRC development and progression via inactivation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway and downregulation of c-Myc and cyclin D1 expression, which is expected to be a potential biomarker for CRC.
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