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Carbohydr Polym. 2012 Oct 1;90(2):1127-31. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2012.06.058. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Extraction, purification and antitumor activity of a water-soluble polysaccharide from the roots of Polygala tenuifolia.

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Department of Medical Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital, Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150081, China.


One polysaccharide PTP was isolated and purified from the roots of Polygala tenuifolia. It consisted of galactose, glucose and galactose in the ratio of 3.1:3.7:2.5, and a small amount of rhamnose, mannose and xylose. 17 general amino acids were identified to be components of the protein-bound polysaccharide analyzed by automatic amino acid analyzer. In order to test the anti-cancer activity of PTP, we investigated its effect against the growth of human ovarian cancer cells SKOV3 in vitro and in ovarian cancer rats. The intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione (GSH) in SKOV3 cells following PTP treatment were also quantified to explore the possible mechanism underlying the antitumor activity of the polysaccharide. The result showed that PTP is effective on inhibiting the proliferation of SKOV3 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, treatment with PTP caused a rapid depletion of intracellular GSH content and accumulation of intracellular ROS, thus resulting in the apoptosis, which may prove to be a pivotal mechanism for its cancer protection action. In addition, a significant tumor growth inhibition effect was observed in nude mice after PTP administration for 7 weeks. All above indicated PTP could be beneficial towards ovarian cancer therapy.

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