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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013 Oct 4;439(4):580-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.09.019. Epub 2013 Sep 12.

Marine algal fucoxanthin inhibits the metastatic potential of cancer cells.

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Division of Applied Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Gyeongnam, Republic of Korea; Department of Molecular and Cellular Glycobiology, College of Natural Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 440-746, Kyungki-do, Republic of Korea.


Metastasis is major cause of malignant cancer-associated mortality. Fucoxanthin has effect on various pharmacological activities including anti-cancer activity. However, the inhibitory effect of fucoxanthin on cancer metastasis remains unclear. Here, we show that fucoxanthin isolated from brown alga Saccharina japonica has anti-metastatic activity. To check anti-metastatic properties of fucoxanthin, in vitro models including assays for invasion, migration, actin fiber organization and cancer cell-endothelial cell interaction were used. Fucoxanthin inhibited the expression and secretion of MMP-9 which plays a critical role in tumor invasion and migration, and also suppressed invasion of highly metastatic B16-F10 melanoma cells as evidenced by transwell invasion assay. In addition, fucoxanthin diminished the expressions of the cell surface glycoprotein CD44 and CXC chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) which play roles in migration, invasion and cancer-endothelial cell adhesion. Fucoxanthin markedly suppressed cell migration in wound healing assay and inhibited actin fiber formation. The adhesion of B16-F10 melanoma cells to the endothelial cells was significantly inhibited by fucoxanthin. Moreover, in experimental lung metastasis in vivo assay, fucoxanthin resulted in significant reduction of tumor nodules. Taken together, we demonstrate, for the first time, that fucoxanthin suppresses metastasis of highly metastatic B16-F10 melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo.


Actin filament; Cell adhesion; Invasion; Melanoma; Metastasis; Migration

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