Anticancer effects

1. Antiproliferative activity

Cancer is possibly one of the most dangerous diseases, and cure for it has not yet found. Therefore, prevention of cancer through good diet practices is a well-promoted chemoprevention strategy. Marine edible seaweeds are promising candidates in this regard. Phlorotannins isolated from edible marine alga E. cava (dioxinodehydroeckol and 1-(3',5'-dihydroxyphe-noxy)-7-(2",4",6-trihydroxyphenoxy)-2,4,9-trihydroxybenzo-1,4-dioxin) have shown antiproliferative effects on human breast cancer cells (MCF-7). Among them, dioxinodehydroeckol has shown stronger ability in inducing apoptosis accounting for 55% cell death at 100 p.M treatment (Kong et al., 2009). Moreover, Yang et al. (2010) have also found that the phlorotannin extracts from Laminaria japonica show antiproliferative effects on human hepatocellular carcinoma cells, IC50 2 00 mg/ml (BEL-7402) and murine leukemic cells, IC50 120 mg/ml (p388).

2. Inhibition of cancer metastasis

Invasion and migration are the principal mechanisms involved in cancer mortality, leading to spread of the cancer from its originated place to another site. In this invasion process, number of proteolytic enzymes contributes to the degradation of environmental barriers, such as the extracellular matrix (ECM) and basement membrane. Matrix metalloproteinase 2 and 9 (MMP 2,9) are principal enzymes responsible for ECM degradation, which are essential in the invasive growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis of cancer. Therefore, inhibition of these enzyme expressions is a therapeutic target to prevent cancer metastasis, and phlorotannins have found to be potent inhibitors. Zhang et al. (2010) have found that 6'6'-bieckol (100 mM)

isolated from brown alga E. cava significantly downregulated the expression of MMP 2,9 in an in vitro model of activated human fibro-sarcoma cells (HT1080). And this down regulation was found to be a cause of 6'6'-bieckol-mediated blocking of NF-kB signaling which regulate the expression of MMP 2,9. Polyphenolic extracts of E. cava has potential inhibitory effect against MMP 2,9 expression in human lung cancer cells (A549) through modulating Akt signaling pathway (Lee et al., 2011). Similarly, E. cava extract consisting of 57.98 ± 0.45% of phlorotannins (500 mM) has shown potent inhibitory activity against MMP 2,9 expression in HT1080 cells. Interestingly, this inhibition was found to be more potent than the commercially available MMP inhibitory drug doxycycline (10 mg/ml). Angiogenesis is the process where new blood vessels are made to facilitate the invasion of cancers, and fucodiphloroethol G from E. cava has inhibited this process in an angiogenesis-induced cellular model (Li et al., 2011). These findings show that especially the edible brown alga is a promising material to be included in the diet and for development of pharmaceuticals for chemoprevention.

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