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Open AccessArticle

Cannabinoid Combination Induces Cytoplasmic Vacuolation in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells

Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Nelson Mandela University, P.O. Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Silvie Rimpelová
Molecules 2020, 25(20), 4682;
Received: 15 September 2020 / Revised: 3 October 2020 / Accepted: 7 October 2020 / Published: 14 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Product-Inspired Molecules: From Weed to Remedy)
This study evaluated the synergistic anti-cancer potential of cannabinoid combinations across the MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cell lines. Cannabinoids were combined and their synergistic interactions were evaluated using median effect analysis. The most promising cannabinoid combination (C6) consisted of tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), and cannabidiol (CBD), and displayed favorable dose reduction indices and limited cytotoxicity against the non-cancerous breast cell line, MCF-10A. C6 exerted its effects in the MCF-7 cell line by inducing cell cycle arrest in the G2 phase, followed by the induction of apoptosis. Morphological observations indicated the induction of cytoplasmic vacuolation, with further investigation suggesting that the vacuole membrane was derived from the endoplasmic reticulum. In addition, lipid accumulation, increased lysosome size, and significant increases in the endoplasmic reticulum chaperone protein glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) expression were also observed. The selectivity and ability of cannabinoids to halt cancer cell proliferation via pathways resembling apoptosis, autophagy, and paraptosis shows promise for cannabinoid use in standardized breast cancer treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast cancer; cannabinoids; combination studies; anti-cancer; cytoplasmic vacuolation breast cancer; cannabinoids; combination studies; anti-cancer; cytoplasmic vacuolation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schoeman, R.; Beukes, N.; Frost, C. Cannabinoid Combination Induces Cytoplasmic Vacuolation in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells. Molecules 2020, 25, 4682.

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