Chemotherapy regimens for non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have various adverse effects on the human body. For this reason, probiotics have received attention regarding their potential value as a safe and natural complementary strategy for cancer prevention. This study analyzed the anticancer effects of aqueous extracts of probiotic bacteria Bifidobacterium bifidum (BB), Bifidobacterium longum (BL), Bifidobacterium lactis (BLA), Bifidobacterium infantis 1 (BI1), and Bifidobacterium infantis 2 (BI2) on NSCLC cell lines. When the aqueous extracts of probiotic Bifidobacterium species were applied to the NSCLC cell lines A549, H1299, and HCC827, cell death increased considerably; in particular, the aqueous extracts from BB and BLA markedly reduced cell proliferation. p38 phosphorylation induced by BB aqueous extract increased the expression of cleaved caspase 3 and cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), consequently inducing the apoptosis of A549 and H1299 cells. When the p38 inhibitor SB203580 was applied, phosphorylation of p38 decreased, and the expression of cleaved caspase 3 and cleaved PARP was also inhibited, resulting in a reduction of cell death. In addition, BB aqueous extracts reduced the secretion of MMP-9, leading to inhibition of cancer cell invasion. By contrast, after transfection of short hairpin RNA shMMP-9 (for a knockdown of MMP-9) into cancer cells, BB aqueous extracts treatment failed to suppress the cancer cell invasiveness. According to our results about their anticancer effects on NSCLC, probiotics consisting of Bifidobacterium species may be useful as adjunctive anticancer treatment in the future.
6Bifidobacterium, probiotics, NSCLC cell, apoptosis, cancer invasion