Induction of apoptosis by low-molecular-weight fucoidan through calcium- and caspase-dependent mitochondrial pathways in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells

Zhongyuan Zhang, Kiichiro Teruya, Hiroshi Eto, Sanetaka Shirahata

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Fucoidan, a fucose-rich polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweed, has antitumor, anticoagulant, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial activities. Several studies have shown that a fucoidan treatment of cancer cells induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis and inhibited angiogenesis and invasion. We investigated in the present study the effect of low-molecular-weight fucoidan (LMWF) on apoptosis in estrogen receptornegative MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. The LMWF treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells was associated with the activation of caspases and mitochondrial dysfunction, including dissipation of the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), alteration of Ca2+ homeostasis, cytochrome c release, and decreased expression of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins. Understanding the molecular events that mediated LMWF-induced MDAMB-231 cell death will contribute to a more rational approach to cancer chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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