Sulfated polysaccharides from brown seaweeds Saccharina japonica and Undaria pinnatifida: isolation, structural characteristics, and antitumor activity.

Research paper by Olesya S OS Vishchuk, Svetlana P SP Ermakova, Tatyana N TN Zvyagintseva

Indexed on: 26 Oct '11Published on: 26 Oct '11Published in: Carbohydrate Research


During the last decade brown seaweeds attracted much attention as a source of polysaccharides, namely laminarans, alginic acids, and sulfated polysaccharides-fucoidans, with various structures and biological activities. In this study, sulfated polysaccharides were isolated from brown seaweeds Saccharina japonica (formerly named Laminaria) and Undaria pinnatifida and their antitumor activity was tested against human breast cancer T-47D and melanoma SK-MEL-28 cell lines. The sulfated polysaccharide form S. japonica was highly branched partially acetylated sulfated galactofucan, built up of (1→3)-α-L-fucose residues. The sulfated polysaccharide from U. pinnatifida was partially acetylated highly sulfated galactofucan consisting of (1→3)- or (1→3);(1→4)-α-L-fucose residues. Fucoidans from S. japonica and U. pinnatifida distinctly inhibited proliferation and colony formation in both breast cancer and melanoma cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicated that the use of sulfated polysaccharides from brown seaweeds S. japonica and U. pinnatifida might be a potential approach for cancer treatment.