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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 296721, 15 pages
Research Article

Vitamin K1 Exerts Antiproliferative Effects and Induces Apoptosis in Three Differently Graded Human Colon Cancer Cell Lines

1Laboratory of Nutritional Pathophysiology, National Institute for Digestive Diseases IRCCS “Saverio de Bellis”, Castellana Grotte, 70013 Bari, Italy
2Laboratory of Nutritional Biochemistry, National Institute for Digestive Diseases IRCCS “Saverio de Bellis”, Castellana Grotte, 70013 Bari, Italy

Received 25 September 2014; Accepted 29 November 2014

Academic Editor: István Zupkó

Copyright © 2015 Antonella Orlando et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vitamin K1 has been demonstrated as having anticancer potentiality mainly in liver cancer cells. Beyond the reported mechanisms of cancer inhibition (cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis), a possible control by vitamin K1 on molecules affecting cell growth could be hypothesized. In the literature, few (if any) data are available on its antitumor effects on colon cancer cells. Therefore, the aims of the study were to investigate in three differently graded human colon cancer cell lines (Caco-2, HT-29, and SW480) the effects of increasing concentrations of vitamin K1 (from 10 μM to 200 μM) administered up to 72 h on (1) cell proliferation, (2) apoptosis with the possible involvement of the MAPK pathway, and (3) polyamine biosynthesis. Vitamin K1 treatment caused a significant antiproliferative effect and induced apoptosis in all the cell lines, with the involvement of the MAPK pathway. A concomitant and significant decrease in the polyamine biosynthesis occurred. This is the first study demonstrating a significant polyamine decrease in addition to the antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects following vitamin K1 administration to colon cancer cell lines. Therapeutically, combinations of vitamin K1 with polyamine inhibitors and/or analogues may represent a suitable option for chemoprevention and/or treatment in future strategies for colorectal cancer management.