Send to

Choose Destination
Mar Drugs. 2013 Jan 9;11(1):81-98. doi: 10.3390/md11010081.

Fucoidan extract enhances the anti-cancer activity of chemotherapeutic agents in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

Author information

Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.


Fucoidan, a fucose-rich polysaccharide isolated from brown alga, is currently under investigation as a new anti-cancer compound. In the present study, fucoidan extract (FE) from Cladosiphon navae-caledoniae Kylin was prepared by enzymatic digestion. We investigated whether a combination of FE with cisplatin, tamoxifen or paclitaxel had the potential to improve the therapeutic efficacy of cancer treatment. These co-treatments significantly induced cell growth inhibition, apoptosis, as well as cell cycle modifications in MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. FE enhanced apoptosis in cancer cells that responded to treatment with three chemotherapeutic drugs with downregulation of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL and Mcl-1. The combination treatments led to an obvious decrease in the phosphorylation of ERK and Akt in MDA-MB-231 cells, but increased the phosphorylation of ERK in MCF-7 cells. In addition, we observed that combination treatments enhanced intracellular ROS levels and reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in breast cancer cells, suggesting that induction of oxidative stress was an important event in the cell death induced by the combination treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center