Seaweeds, being abundant sources of bioactive components have much interest in recent times. The complex polysaccharides from the brown, red and green seaweeds possess broad spectrum therapeutic properties. The sulfated polysaccharides are routinely used in biomedical research and have known biological activities. Fucoidan, a fucose-rich polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweed has various biological functions including anticancer effects. Cellular damage induces growth arrest and tumor suppression by inducing apoptosis, the mechanism of cell death depends on the magnitude of DNA damage following exposure to anticancer agents. Apoptosis is mainly regulated by cell growth signaling molecules. Number of research studies evidenced that fucoidan shown to induce cytotoxicity of various cancer cells, induces apoptosis, and inhibits invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis of cancer cells. There are few articles discussing on fucoidan biological activity but no specific review on cancer and its signaling mechanism. Hence, this review discusses the brown seaweed fucoidan structure and some biological function and role in apoptosis, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis and growth signal mechanism on cancer.
Keywords: Angiogenesis; Apoptosis; Fucoidan.
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