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March 2008

Radical scavenging and singlet oxygen quenching activity of marine carotenoid fucoxanthin and its metabolites.

Antioxidant activity of carotenoids is suggested to be one of the factors for their disease preventing effects. Marine carotenoids fucoxanthin and its two metabolites, fucoxanthinol and halocynthiaxanthin, have been shown to exhibit several biological effects. The antioxidant activities of these three carotenoids were assessed in vitro with respect to radical scavenging and singlet oxygen quenching abilities. The 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity of fucoxanthin and fucoxanthinol was higher than that of halocynthiaxanthin, with the effective concentration for 50% scavenging (EC 50) being 164.60, 153.78, and 826.39 microM, respectively. 2,2’-Azinobis-3-ethylbenzo thizoline-6-sulphonate radical scavenging activity of fucoxanthinol (EC 50, 2.49 microM) was stronger than that of fucoxanthin (EC 50, 8.94 microM). Hydroxyl radical scavenging activity as measured by the chemiluminescence technique showed that the scavenging activity of fucoxanthin was 7.9 times higher than that by fucoxanthinol, 16.3 times higher than that by halocynthiaxanthin, and 13.5 times higher than that by alpha-tocopherol. A similar trend was observed when the hydroxyl radical scavenging was assessed by the electron spin resonance (ESR) technique. ESR analysis of the superoxide radical scavenging activity also showed the superiority of fucoxanthin over the other two carotenoids tested. Singlet oxygen quenching ability of the three carotenoids was lower than that of beta-carotene, with quenching rate constants ( k Q, x10 (10) M (-1) s (-1)) being 1.19, 1.81, 0.80, and 12.78 for fucoxanthin, fucoxanthinol, halocynthiaxanthin, and beta-carotene, respectively. The higher radical scavenging activity of fucoxanthin and fucoxanthinol compared with halocynthiaxanthin is assumed to be due to presence of the allenic bond.

J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Oct 17;55(21):8516-22

Fucoxanthin, a natural carotenoid, induces G1 arrest and GADD45 gene expression in human cancer cells.

BACKGROUND: Although the antitumor effects of fucoxanthin are known, the precise mechanism of action has yet to be elucidated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: HepG2 and DU145 cells were used for these investigations. The effect of fucoxanthin on gene expression was assayed using a DNA microarray system. Northern blot and/or quantitative RT-PCR were carried out to confirm any changes in gene expression. The effect of fucoxanthin on cell cycle progression was analyzed using flow cytometry. RNA interference experiments were employed for the GADD45 gene. RESULTS: Fucoxanthin markedly induced GADD45A, a cell cycle-related gene, in HepG2 and DU145 cells. Concomitant G1 arrest, but not apoptosis, was observed in both cell types following treatment with fucoxanthin. The introduction of siRNA against GADD45A partially perturbed the induction of Gi arrest by fucoxanthin in both cell types. CONCLUSION: Fucoxanthin induced G1 arrest in HepG2 and DU145 cells. GADD45A may be involved in fucoxanthin-induced G1 arrest.

In Vivo. 2007 Mar-Apr;21(2):305-9

Dietary combination of fucoxanthin and fish oil attenuates the weight gain of white adipose tissue and decreases blood glucose in obese/diabetic KK-Ay mice.

Fucoxanthin is a marine carotenoid found in edible brown seaweeds. We previously reported that dietary fucoxanthin attenuates the weight gain of white adipose tissue (WAT) of diabetic/obese KK- A(y) mice. In this study, to evaluate the antiobesity and antidiabetic effects of fucoxanthin and fish oil, we investigated the effect on the WAT weight, blood glucose, and insulin levels of KK- A(y) mice. Furthermore, the expression level of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) and adipokine mRNA in WAT were measured. After 4 weeks of feeding, 0.2% fucoxanthin in the diet markedly attenuated the gain of WAT weight in KK- A(y) mice with increasing UCP1 expression compared with the control mice. The WAT weight of the mice fed 0.1% fucoxanthin and 6.9% fish oil was also significantly lower than that of the mice fed fucoxanthin alone. In addition, 0.2% fucoxanthin markedly decreased the blood glucose and plasma insulin concentrations in KK- A(y) mice. The mice fed with the combination diet of 0.1% fucoxanthin and fish oil also showed improvements similar to that of 0.2% fucoxanthin. Leptin and tumor necrosis factor (TNFalpha) mRNA expression in WAT were significantly down-regulated by 0.2% fucoxanthin. These results suggest that dietary fucoxanthin decreases the blood glucose and plasma insulin concentration of KK- A(y) along with down-regulating TNFalpha mRNA. In addition, the combination of fucoxanthin and fish oil is more effective for attenuating the weight gain of WAT than feeding with fucoxanthin alone.

J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Sep 19;55(19):7701-6

Antiangiogenic activity of brown algae fucoxanthin and its deacetylated product, fucoxanthinol.

The antiangiogenic effects of fucoxanthin and a deacetylated product, fucoxanthinol, were examined. Fucoxanthin significantly suppressed HUVEC proliferation and tube formation at more than 10 microM, but it had no significant effect on HUVEC chemotaxis. The formation of blood vessel-like structures from CD31-positive cells was evaluated using embryonic stem cell-derived embryoid bodies. Fucoxanthin effectively suppressed the development of these structures at 10-20 microM, suggesting that it could suppress differentiation of endothelial progenitor cells into endothelial cells involving new blood vessel formation. Fucoxanthin and fucoxanthinol suppressed microvessel outgrowth in an ex vivo angiogenesis assay using a rat aortic ring, in a dose-dependent manner. These results imply that fucoxanthin having antiangiogenic activity might be useful in preventing angiogenesis-related diseases.

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 27;54(26):9805-10

The energy spilling reactions of bacteria and other organisms.

For many years it was assumed that living organisms always utilized ATP in a highly efficient manner, but simple growth studies with bacteria indicated that the efficiency of biomass production was often at least 3-fold lower than the amount that would be predicted from standard biosynthetic pathways. The utilization of energy for maintenance could only explain a small portion of this discrepancy particularly when the growth rate was high. These ideas and thermodynamic arguments indicated that cells might have another avenue of energy utilization. This phenomenon has also been called ‘uncoupling’, ‘spillage’ and ‘overflow metabolism’, but ‘energy spilling’ is probably the most descriptive term. It appears that many bacteria spill energy, and the few that do not can be killed (large and often rapid decrease in viability), if the growth medium is nitrogen-limited and the energy source is in ‘excess’. The lactic acid bacterium, Streptococcus bovis, is an ideal bacterium for the study of energy spilling. Because it only uses substrate level phosphorylation to generate ATP, ATP generation can be calculated with a high degree of certainty. It does not store glucose as glycogen, and its cell membrane can be easily accessed. Comparative analysis of heat production, membrane voltage, ATP production and Ohm’s law indicated that the energy spilling reaction of S. bovis is mediated by a futile cycle of protons through the cell membrane. Less is known about Escherichia coli, but in this bacterium energy spilling could be mediated by a futile cycle of potassium or ammonium ions. Energy spilling is not restricted to prokaryotes and appears to occur in yeasts and in higher organisms. In man, energy spilling may be related to cancer, ageing, ischemia and cardiac failure.

J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007;13(1-3):1-11

Fucoxanthin as the major antioxidant in Hijikia fusiformis, a common edible seaweed.

The radical scavenging activity of Japanese edible seaweeds was screened by the DPPH (1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) assay to evaluate the DPPH radical scavenging activity in organic extracts. The fresh brown alga Hijikia fusiformis showed the strongest DPPH radical scavenging activity, followed by Undaria pinnatifida and Sargassum fulvellum. The major active compound from Hijikia fusiformis in its acetone extract was identified as fucoxanthin by 13C-NMR spectroscopy.

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1999 Mar;63(3):605-7

Effects of fucoxanthin on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation in vitro and in vivo.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of fucoxanthin on endotoxin-induced uveitis (EIU) in rats. The effects of fucoxanthin on endotoxin-induced leucocyte and protein infiltration, nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin (PG)-E2 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha concentrations in rat aqueous humour, as well as on the cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) protein expression in a mouse macrophage cell line (RAW 264.7 cells) were studied. EIU was induced in male Lewis rats by a footpad injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Immediately after the LPS injection, either 0.1, 1 or 10mgkg(-1) of fucoxanthin was injected intravenously. The aqueous humour was collected 24hr later from both eyes, and both the number of cells infiltrating into the aqueous humour and the aqueous humour protein concentration were measured. The levels of PGE2, NO and TNF-alpha were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The RAW 264.7 cells were pretreated with various concentrations of fucoxanthin for 24hr and subsequently incubated with LPS for 24hr. COX-2 and iNOS protein expression was analysed by the Western blotting method. Levels of PGE2, NO and TNF-alpha production were determined. Fucoxanthin suppressed the development of EIU in a dose-dependent fashion. Treatment with fucoxanthin resulted in a reduction in PGE2, NO and TNF-alpha concentrations in the aqueous humour. The expression of COX and iNOS protein in the fucoxanthin treated RAW264.7 cells decreased significantly compared to that the LPS group. It also significantly reduced the concentration of PGE2, NO and TNF-alpha production in the medium of cells. The present result indicate fucoxanthin suppresses the inflammation of EIU by blocking the iNOS and COX-2 protein expression and its anti-inflammatory effect on eye is comparable with the effect of predinisolone used in similar doses.

Exp Eye Res. 2005 Oct;81(4):422-8

Fucoxanthin induces apoptosis and enhances the antiproliferative effect of the PPARgamma ligand, troglitazone, on colon cancer cells.

The effect of fucoxanthin, from the edible seaweed Undaria pinnatifida on viability of colon cancer cells and induction of apoptosis was investigated. Fucoxanthin remarkably reduced the viability of human colon cancer cell lines, Caco-2, HT-29 and DLD-1. Furthermore, treatment with fucoxanthin induced DNA fragmentation, indicating apoptosis. The DNA fragmentation in Caco-2 cells treated with 22.6 microM fucoxanthin for 24 h was 10-fold higher than in the control. Fucoxanthin suppressed the level of Bcl-2 protein. Also, DNA fragmentation induced by fucoxanthin was partially inhibited by a caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk. Moreover, combined treatment with 3.8 microM fucoxanthin and 10 microM troglitazone, which is a specific ligand for peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) gamma, effectively decreased the viability of Caco-2 cells. However, separate treatments with these same concentrations of fucoxanthin nor troglitazone did not affect cell viability. These findings indicate that fucoxanthin may act as a chemopreventive and/or chemotherapeutic carotenoid in colon cancer cells by modulating cell viability in combination with troglitazone.

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Nov 18;1675


Characterization of apoptosis induced by fucoxanthin in human promyelocytic leukemia cells.

Apoptosis induced by fucoxanthin in HL-60 cells was associated with a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential at an early stage, but not with an increase in reactive oxygen species. Fucoxanthin treatment caused cleavages of procaspase-3 and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase without any effect on the protein level of Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), or Bax. Apoptosis induction by fucoxanthin may be mediated via mitochondrial membrane permeabilization and caspase-3 activation.

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005 Jan;69(1):224-7

Neoxanthin and fucoxanthin induce apoptosis in PC-3 human prostate cancer cells.

Neoxanthin and fucoxanthin, which have the characteristic structure of 5,6-monoepoxide and an allenic bond, were previously found to reduce the viability of human prostate cancer cells most intensively among 15 dietary carotenoids tested. In the present study, the induction of apoptosis in PC-3 cells by these two carotenoids was characterized by morphological changes, DNA fragmentation, an increased percentage of hypodiploid cells, and cleavages of caspase-3 and PARP. The ratio of apoptotic cells reached more than 30% after treatment for 48 h with 20 microM carotenoids. They reduced the expression of Bax and Bcl-2 proteins, but not Bcl-X(L). Fucoxanthin accumulated in the cells at the same level as neoxanthin. Moreover, fucoxanthinol, a deacetylated product of fucoxanthin, formed in the cells treated with fucoxanthin and reached a level comparable to that of fucoxanthin after incubation for 24 h. Treatment by fucoxanthinol alone also induced apoptosis in PC-3 cells. Thus, neoxanthin and fucoxanthin treatments were found to induce apoptosis through caspase-3 activation in PC-3 human prostate cancer cells.

Cancer Lett. 2005 Mar 18;220(1):75-84

Halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol isolated from Halocynthia roretzi induce apoptosis in human leukemia, breast and colon cancer cells.

The sea squirt Halocynthia roretzi metabolizes fucoxanthin, and subsequently accumulates its derived carotenoids with characteristic structures. In the present study, we isolated halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol as carotenoids having antiproliferative activity from H. roretzi. Halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol inhibited the growth of HL-60 human leukemia cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Viability of HL-60 treated with 12.5 microM halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol was decreased by 12.1% and 5.7% of control after 48 h incubation, respectively. Furthermore, halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol induced apoptosis in HL-60 cells, MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, and Caco-2 human colon cancer cells. When HL-60 cells were incubated with 12.5 microM halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol for 48 h, relative DNA fragmentations were enhanced to 5- and 7-fold compared to that in control cells, respectively. The activities of apoptosis induction by halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol were higher than that of fucoxanthin which we have previously reported as a carotenoid possessing the ability to induce apoptosis. Fucoxanthinol exhibited the highest apoptosis-inducing activity among the three carotenoids. Furthermore, the expression levels of apoptosis-suppressing protein Bcl-2 were decreased in HL-60 cells treated with halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol. These results suggest that halocynthiaxanthin and fucoxanthinol exhibited potential antiproliferative effects via apoptosis induction in several cancer cell lines.

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2006 Jan-Feb;142(1-2):53-9