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β-carotene isolated from the marine red alga, Gracillaria sp. potently attenuates the growth of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells by modulating multiple molecular pathways
- Kavalappa, Yogendra Prasad, Udayawara Rudresh, Deepika, Gopal, Sowmya Shree, Haranahalli Shivarudrappa, Arpitha, Stephen, Nimish Mol, Rangiah, Kannan, Ponesakki, Ganesan
- Journal of functional foods 2019 v.52 pp. 165-176
- Rhodophyta, Western blotting, antioxidants, apoptosis, beta-carotene, caspase-3, hepatoma, human cell lines, humans, membrane potential, mitochondrial membrane, protein synthesis, superoxide dismutase, transcription factor NF-kappa B, transcriptional activation, viability
- There remains a remarkable controversy on the anti-cancer stand of β-carotene specifically when high concentrations are used. This study aimed to examine the growth inhibitory effect of the lower concentrations of β-carotene in HepG2 cells. Beta-carotene purified from Gracillaria sp. inhibited viability of HepG2 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. This growth inhibitory effect was well correlated with increased apoptotic cell death. Apoptosis induction by β-carotene was associated with increased caspase-3 activity and reduced mitochondrial membrane potential. Western blot analysis showed a significant decrease in the expression of Bcl-2, PARP, and NF-kB protein, and an increase in the protein expression of Bax. Beta-carotene also blocked the activation of intracellular growth signaling proteins, Akt and ERK1/2. Further, it down-regulated the expression of endogenous antioxidant enzymes, SOD-2 and HO-1, and its transactivation factor, Nrf-2. The current study emphasizes the role of β-carotene as an effective inhibitor of the growth of hepatocarcinoma cell.