, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 363–374 | Cite as

The anti-tumor activity of brown seaweed oligo-fucoidan via lncRNA expression modulation in HepG2 cells

  • Ming-De Yan
  • Hsin-Yuan Lin
  • Pai-An HwangEmail author
Original Article


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third most common cause of cancer-related death in Asia. HCC is less sensitive to chemotherapy and is known to express multidrug resistant genes to acquire resistance to chemotherapeutic agents, therefore the development of a potent HCC suppressor is essential in treating HCC. Our previous reports demonstrated that oligo-fucoidan from the brown seaweed Sargassum hemiphyllum elevates microRNA-29b to inhibit epithelial-mesenchymal transition in hepatoma cells. In this study, we aimed to examine in vitro effect of oligo-fucoidan in hepatocellular carcinoma through apoptosis and long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) pathway. Oligo-fucoidan was studied for its anti-hepatoma cells by MTT and DNA ladder analysis. And the mechanism was studied by flow cytometry, qPCR and western blot analysis. In this study, oligo-fucoidan induced sub-G1 phase cell cycle arrest and activation of caspases, indicating that the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways were involved in the mechanism of oligo-fucoidan-induced cell death. Moreover, oligo-fucoidan significantly increased the expression of p53, p21, and p27, while cyclin-B1 and -D1 were decreased at the mRNA and protein levels. Finally, we showed that targeting apoptosis and cell cycle pathways could also contribute to the induction of the lncRNA-Saf and lncRNA-p21. Through human lncRNA profiler array analysis, the differential expression of lncRNAs in HCC cells following oligo-fucoidan exposure was further examined. These findings indicated that lncRNAs switched oligo-fucoidan-induced apoptosis, which might be potentially valuable in HCC adjuvant therapy.


Fucoidan Hepatocellular carcinoma Apoptosis lncRNA-Saf lncRNA-p21 



Funding was provided by Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (No. 106-2320-B-019-001).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest in this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department and Graduate Institute of Microbiology and ImmunologyNational Defense Medical CenterTaipeiTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Department of Bioscience and BiotechnologyNational Taiwan Ocean UniversityKeelung CityTaiwan, ROC

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