Background/Aims: Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment that has antioxidant, antitumoral, and anti-inflammatory properties. In this in vitro study, we investigated the mechanism of anticancer effects of astaxanthin in gastric carcinoma cell lines. Methods: The human gastric adenocarcinoma cell lines AGS, KATO-III, MKN-45, and SNU-1 were treated with various concentrations of astaxanthin. A cell viability test, cell cycle analysis, and immunoblotting were performed. Results: The viability of each cancer cell line was suppressed by astaxanthin in a dose-dependent manner with significantly decreased proliferation in KATO-III and SNU-1 cells. Astaxanthin increased the number of cells in the G0/G1 phase but reduced the proportion of S phase KATO-III and SNU-1 cells. Phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was decreased in an inverse dose-dependent correlation with astaxanthin concentration, and the expression of p27kip-1 increased the KATO-III and SNU-1 cell lines in an astaxanthin dose-dependent manner. Conclusions: Astaxanthin inhibits proliferation by interrupting cell cycle progression in KATO-III and SNU-1 gastric cancer cells. This may be caused by the inhibition of the phosphorylation of ERK and the enhanced expression of p27kip-1.
- Extracellular signal-regulated kinase
- Human gastric adenocarcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas