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Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(1), 32;

Fucoidan Structure and Activity in Relation to Anti-Cancer Mechanisms

Faculty of Science, (Medical) Biology, Radboud University, 6525 XZ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
The First Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Gynecology, Medical University of Lublin, 20-081 Lublin, Poland
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Radboud University Nijmegen, Medical Centre, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, GROW-School for Oncology and Developmental Biology Maastricht University Medical Centre, 6229 HX Maastricht, The Netherlands
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Bioactive Natural Product Studies in Europe)
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Fucoidan is a natural derived compound found in different species of brown algae and in some animals, that has gained attention for its anticancer properties. However, the exact mechanism of action is currently unknown. Therefore, this review will address fucoidans structure, the bioavailability, and all known different pathways affected by fucoidan, in order to formulate fucoidans structure and activity in relation to its anti-cancer mechanisms. The general bioactivity of fucoidan is difficult to establish due to factors like species-related structural diversity, growth conditions, and the extraction method. The main pathways influenced by fucoidan are the PI3K/AKT, the MAPK pathway, and the caspase pathway. PTEN seems to be important in the fucoidan-mediated effect on the AKT pathway. Furthermore, the interaction with VEGF, BMP, TGF-β, and estrogen receptors are discussed. Also, fucoidan as an adjunct seems to have beneficial effects, for both the enhanced effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduced toxicity in healthy cells. In conclusion, the multipotent character of fucoidan is promising in future anti-cancer treatment. However, there is a need for more specified studies of the structure–activity relationship of fucoidan from the most promising seaweed species. View Full-Text
Keywords: fucoidan; structure; cancer; natural product; brown algae; AKT; MAPK fucoidan; structure; cancer; natural product; brown algae; AKT; MAPK

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Van Weelden, G.; Bobiński, M.; Okła, K.; Van Weelden, W.J.; Romano, A.; Pijnenborg, J.M.A. Fucoidan Structure and Activity in Relation to Anti-Cancer Mechanisms. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 32.

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