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Food Funct. 2012 Jul;3(7):758-64. doi: 10.1039/c2fo30026e. Epub 2012 May 14.

Inhibition of leukemia proliferation by a novel polysaccharide identified from Monascus-fermented dioscorea via inducing differentiation.

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Department of Biochemical Science & Technology, College of Life Science, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan.


Monascus-fermented products offer valuable therapeutic benefits and have been extensively used in East Asia. However, the polysaccharide obtained from Monascus-fermented products has never been investigated. This study evaluated the effects of dioscorea polysaccharide (DPS) and red mold dioscorea polysaccharide (RMDPS) on differentiation of leukemic THP-1 cells. DPS and RMDPS inhibited THP-1 cells proliferation in dose- and time-dependent manners. The differentiation induction (macrophage-like cells) was observed when THP-1 cells were treated with DPS and RMDPS for 5 days. Superoxide anion production, phagocytic capacity, and cytokine secretion confirmed activity for differentiating THP-1 cells. Results indicated that RMDPS elevated reactive oxygen species production and immune activity, including phagocytosis, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) productions in THP-1 cells, which was greater than that seen with DPS. These results may be attributed to Monascus-fermentation altering the carbohydrate components and polysaccharide structure. RMDPS may serve as a novel material and functional ingredient to exert anticancer capacity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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