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Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(12), 5130-5147; doi:10.3390/md11125130
Review

Fucoxanthin: A Marine Carotenoid Exerting Anti-Cancer Effects by Affecting Multiple Mechanisms

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Received: 10 October 2013; in revised form: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Compounds and Cancer)
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Abstract: Fucoxanthin is a marine carotenoid exhibiting several health benefits. The anti-cancer effect of fucoxanthin and its deacetylated metabolite, fucoxanthinol, is well documented. In view of its potent anti-carcinogenic activity, the need to understand the underlying mechanisms has gained prominence. Towards achieving this goal, several researchers have carried out studies in various cell lines and in vivo and have deciphered that fucoxanthin exerts its anti-proliferative and cancer preventing influence via different molecules and pathways including the Bcl-2 proteins, MAPK, NFκB, Caspases, GADD45, and several other molecules that are involved in either cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, or metastasis. Thus, in addition to decreasing the frequency of occurrence and growth of tumours, fucoxanthin has a cytotoxic effect on cancer cells. Some studies show that this effect is selective, i.e., fucoxanthin has the capability to target cancer cells only, leaving normal physiological cells unaffected/less affected. Hence, fucoxanthin and its metabolites show great promise as chemotherapeutic agents in cancer.
Keywords: anti-proliferative; apoptosis; carotenoid; cell cycle arrest; fucoxanthin anti-proliferative; apoptosis; carotenoid; cell cycle arrest; fucoxanthin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kumar, S.R.; Hosokawa, M.; Miyashita, K. Fucoxanthin: A Marine Carotenoid Exerting Anti-Cancer Effects by Affecting Multiple Mechanisms. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 5130-5147.

AMA Style

Kumar SR, Hosokawa M, Miyashita K. Fucoxanthin: A Marine Carotenoid Exerting Anti-Cancer Effects by Affecting Multiple Mechanisms. Marine Drugs. 2013; 11(12):5130-5147.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kumar, Sangeetha R.; Hosokawa, Masashi; Miyashita, Kazuo. 2013. "Fucoxanthin: A Marine Carotenoid Exerting Anti-Cancer Effects by Affecting Multiple Mechanisms." Mar. Drugs 11, no. 12: 5130-5147.


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