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Open AccessArticle

Food Additive Sodium Benzoate (NaB) Activates NFκB and Induces Apoptosis in HCT116 Cells

Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Biochemistry, Ankara University, 06100 Ankara, Turkey
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 723;
Received: 17 February 2018 / Revised: 16 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Chemical Biology)
NaB, the metabolite of cinnamon and sodium salt of benzoic acid is a commonly used food and beverage preservative. Various studies have investigated NaB for its effects on different cellular models. However, the effects of NaB on cancer cell viability signaling is substantially unknown. In this study, the effects of NaB on viability parameters and NFκB, one of the most important regulators in apoptosis, were examined in HCT116 colon cancer cells. Cell culture, light microscopy, spectrophotometry, flow cytometry, and western blot were used as methods to determine cell viability, caspase-3 activity, NFκB, Bcl-xl, Bim, and PARP proteins, respectively. NaB (6.25 mM–50 mM) treatment inhibited cell viability by inducing apoptosis, which was evident with increased Annexin V-PE staining and caspase-3 activity. NFκB activation accompanied the induction of apoptosis in NaB treated cells. Inhibition of NFκB with BAY 11-7082 did not show a pronounced effect on cell viability but induced a more apoptotic profile, which was confirmed by increased PARP fragmentation and caspase-3 activity. This effect was mostly evident at 50 mM concentration of NaB. Bcl-xl levels were not affected by NaB or BAY 11-7082/NaB treatment; whereas, total Bim increased with NaB treatment. Inhibition of NFκB activity further increased Bim levels. Overall, these results suggest that NaB induces apoptosis and activates NFκB in HCT116 colon cancer cells. Activation of NFκB emerges as target in an attempt to protect cells against apoptosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: NaB; colon; cancer; apoptosis; NFκB NaB; colon; cancer; apoptosis; NFκB
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yilmaz, B.; Karabay, A.Z. Food Additive Sodium Benzoate (NaB) Activates NFκB and Induces Apoptosis in HCT116 Cells. Molecules 2018, 23, 723.

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