Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50624. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050624. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Fucoidan from seaweed Fucus vesiculosus inhibits migration and invasion of human lung cancer cell via PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathways.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, South Korea.



Recently there has been an increased interest in the pharmacologically active natural products associated with remedies of various kinds of diseases, including cancer. Fucoidan is a polysaccharide derived from brown seaweeds and has long been used as an ingredient in some dietary supplement products. Although fucoidan has been known to have anti-cancer activity, the anti-metastatic effects and its detailed mechanism of actions have been poorly understood. Therefore, the aims of this study were to demonstrate the anti-metastatic functions of fucoidan and its mechanism of action using A549, a highly metastatic human lung cancer cell line.


Fucoidan inhibits the growth of A549 cells at the concentration of 400 µg/ml. Fucoidan treatment of non-toxic dose (0-200 µg/ml) exhibits a concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on the invasion and migration of the cancer cell via decreasing its MMP-2 activity. To know the mechanism of these inhibitory effects, Western blotting was performed. Fucoidan treatment down-regulates extracellular signal-related kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt-mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K-Akt-mTOR) pathways. Furthermore, fucoidan decreases the cytosolic and nuclear levels of Nuclear Factor-kappa B (p65).


The present study suggests that fucoidan exhibits anti-metastatic effect on A549 lung cancer cells via the down-regulation of ERK1/2 and Akt-mTOR as well as NF-kB signaling pathways. Hence, fucoidan can be considered as a potential therapeutic reagent against the metastasis of invasive human lung cancer cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center