Molecular Mechanisms by Which a Fucus vesiculosus Extract Mediates Cell Cycle Inhibition and Cell Death in Pancreatic Cancer Cells.
Mar Drugs. 2015 Jul ;13(7):4470-91. Epub 2015 Jul 20. PMID: 26204945
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive cancer entities, with an extremely poor 5-year survival rate. Therefore, novel therapeutic agents with specific modes of action are urgently needed. Marine organisms represent a promising source to identify new pharmacologically active substances. Secondary metabolites derived from marine algae are of particular interest. The present work describes cellular and molecular mechanisms induced by an HPLC-fractionated, hydrophilic extract derived from the Baltic brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus (Fv1). Treatment with Fv1 resulted in a strong inhibition of viability in various pancreatic cancer cell lines. This extract inhibited the cell cycle of proliferating cells due to the up-regulation of cell cycle inhibitors, shown on the mRNA (microarray data) and protein level. As a result, cells were dying in a caspase-independent manner. Experiments with non-dividing cells showed that proliferation is a prerequisite for the effectiveness of Fv1. Importantly, Fv1 showed low cytotoxic activity against non-malignant resting T cells and terminally differentiated cells like erythrocytes. Interestingly, accelerated killing effects were observed in combination with inhibitors of autophagy. Our in vitro data suggest that Fv1 may represent a promising new agent that deserves further development towards clinical application.