1. Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, 180 Fenglin Rd, Shanghai 200032, China.
2. Liver Cancer Institute, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Key Laboratory of Carcinogenesis and Cancer Invasion, Ministry of Education, Shanghai 200032, China
*Ting-Jia Pan and Li-Xin Li contributed equally to this paper.
Background: Fucoidan is a fucose-enriched, sulfated polysaccharide found in brown algae; in recent years, this polysaccharide has been found to exert several biological effects, including antitumor effects, such as antiproliferation, activating apoptosis, and anti-angiogenesis of cancer cells. However, the antimetastatic effect of fucoidan and the related targeting receptors remain unknown. In the present study, we examined the inhibition of invadopodia formation and underlying mechanism of fucoidan on human liver cancer cells.
Methods: We used 98% purified fucoidan from Sargassum species to treat the hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells SMMC-7721, Huh7 and HCCLM3 in vitro and the HCCLM3 cell line in vivo. The HCC cells were cultured with various concentrations of Fucoidan-Sargassum (0-30 mg/mL). Migration, invasion and wound healing assays were performed to determine the antimetastatic effect of fucoidan on the HCC cells. Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining were conducted to determine the expression levels of invadopodia formation-regulating proteins and the targeting membrane receptor proteins.
Results: Fucoidan-Sargassum inhibited the migration and invasion of HCC SMMC-7721, Huh7 and HCCLM3 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In the HCCLM3 cells, Fucoidan-Sargassum also decreased the expression levels of invadopodia-related proteins including Src, Cortactin, N-WASP, ARP3, CDC42, MMP2, MT1-MMP, and the targeting receptors integrin αV and β3 in a dose-dependent manner. Fucoidan-Sargassum also increased the levels of endoplasmic reticulum-related proteins, including GRP78, IRE1, SPARC, and the type IV collagen receptor proteins integrin α1 and β1. In vivo, Fucoidan-Sargassum reduced the size of liver tumors and decreased the number of lung metastatic foci in nude mice with hepatocellular carcinoma xenografts.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that Fucoidan-Sargassum has an antimetastatic effect on SMMC-7721, Huh7 and HCCLM3 liver cancer cells, and the underlying mechanism involves targeting ITGαVβ3 and mediating the ITGαVβ3/SRC/E2F1 signaling pathway. These results suggest that Fucoidan-Sargassum may be a promising therapeutic antimetastatic compound in the development of a metastasis-preventive drug for treating liver cancer.
Keywords: invadopodia, metastasis, liver cancer, fucoidan, integrin, antineoplastic