Selenium nanoparticles fabricated in Undaria pinnatifida polysaccharide solutions induce mitochondria-mediated apoptosis in A375 human melanoma cells

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2008 Nov 15;67(1):26-31. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2008.07.010. Epub 2008 Aug 3.


Selenium nanoparticle (Nano-Se) is a novel Se species with novel biological activities and low toxicity. In the present study, we demonstrated a simple method for synthesis of size-controlled Nano-Se by adding Undaria pinnatifida polysaccharides to the redox system of selenite and ascorbic acid. A panel of four human cancer cell lines was shown to be susceptible to Nano-Se, with IC(50) values ranging from 3.0 to 14.1 microM. Treatment of A375 human melanoma cells with the Nano-Se resulted in dose-dependent cell apoptosis as indicated by DNA fragmentation and phosphatidylserine translocation. Further investigation on intracellular mechanisms found that Nano-Se treatment triggered apoptotic cell death in A375 cells with the involvement of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Our results suggest that Nano-Se may be a candidate for further evaluation as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent for human cancers, especially melanoma cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Mitochondria / drug effects*
  • Nanoparticles* / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides* / chemistry
  • Selenium / administration & dosage*
  • Selenium / chemistry
  • Selenium / therapeutic use
  • Undaria* / chemistry


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Polysaccharides
  • Selenium