Abstract Title:

Antiproliferative activity of fucoidan was associated with the induction of apoptosis and autophagy in AGS human gastric cancer cells.

Abstract Source:

J Food Sci. 2011 Apr ;76(3):T77-83. PMID: 21535865

Abstract Author(s):

Hyun Soo Park, Gi-Young Kim, Taek-Jeong Nam, Nam Deuk Kim, Yung Hyun Choi

Article Affiliation:

Department of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busan, Republic of Korea.


Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide purified from brown algae, possesses a variety of pharmacologic effects, including antiinflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties; however, the underlying action mechanisms are not completely understood. This study investigated the possible mechanisms through which fucoidan exerts its antiproliferative action in cultured AGS human gastric adenocarcinoma cells. We found that fucoidan effectively inhibits the growth of AGS cells by inducing autophagy, as well as apoptosis. Apoptosis by fucoidan treatment was associated with the downregulation of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL expression, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, activation of caspases, and concomitant degradation of poly-(ADP-ribose) polymerase protein. In addition, the morphological study indicated a characteristic finding of autophagy, such as the formation of autophagosomes in fucoidan-treated AGS cells. Furthermore, markers of autophagy, namely, the conversion of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3 (LC3)-I to LC3-II and increased beclin-1 accumulation, were observed. Overall, the present data suggest that fucoidan induces apoptotic and autophagic cell death, and both apoptotic and autophagic mechanisms contribute to the fucoidan-induced AGS cell death.

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