Figure 1: Presumed structure of polyphenols (epicatechin oligomers) derived from grape stalks with confirmed anti-tumor activity (positions of epigallocatechin and gallate are not yet determined)

A research group including Professor Hiroshi Fujii, Professor Hidefumi Makabe, Associate Professor Yasunori Hamauzu (Academic Assembly (Agriculture), Institute for Biomedical Sciences, ICCER) and director Seiichi Kawahara of St. Cousair Co., Ltd. (https: // www .stcousair.co.jp /) have characterized a compound in the grapes stems that significantly suppresses the expression of FABP5, a cancer-promoting gene.

Until now, grape stalks and stems have been disposed of as waste. This research may change that with the development of a cancer preventing regimin utilizing grape stems into cancer inhibiting food products.

The results of this research will be published in the journal Scientific Reports. (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48603-5).

An extract from grape stems has been discovered to contain compounds with biological activity that suppresses the growth and metastasis (invasion) of cancer cells.
After isolating and purifying the active ingredient using a method developed by the research group, the new compound that exhibits the above activity has an epicatechin octamer in the basic skeleton, one of which is epigallocatechin. The other was revealed to be epicatechin gallate (Figure 1).
・ This compound was found to suppress the expression of cancer-related genes such as the cancer-promoting gene FABP5, and to significantly suppress the growth and invasion of cancer cells.
・ The results of this research suggest the possibility of developing cancer prevention methods using food production waste.

Contact:
Hiroshi Fujii, professor of Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Interdisciplinary Cluster for Cutting Edge Research, Shinshu University, Japan, e-mail: hfujii@shinshu-u.ac.jp
Shinichi Makabe, professor of Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Interdisciplinary Cluster for Cutting Edge Research, Shinshu University, Japan, e-mail: makabeh@shinshu-u.ac.jp