Progress towards determining the structure of the smallest active pectin that induces apoptosis in vitro
Jackson, Crystal Lyles
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Pectin has been shown to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer (PC) growth and metastasis in animal and human studies and to induce apoptosis in human cultures in vitro. Due to pectin’s complex structural heterogeneity, however, human PC cells respond in at least two, and likely more, distinct ways to specific types of pectins, indicating that more than one active pectin structure affects prostate cancer cell growth and longevity. To effectively utilize pectin as a reservoir of potential cancer-reducing agents, rigorous attention to the unique pectin structure(s) that reduces PC occurrence and longevity is required. We have identified a heat-modified citrus pectin (HTCP) that induces apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells in vitro.The identification and purification of the specific structure, in heat-treated citrus pectin (HTCP), that possesses this cancer cell-inhibiting and apoptosis-inducing ability is the subject of this dissertation.