Mechanism of Action
Fucoidan has been shown to inhibit metastasis by preventing adhesion of tumor cells to the extracellular matrix. This is achieved by blocking the fibronectin cell-binding domain, necessary for formation of adhesion complexes (4). Fucoidan was also shown to induce apoptosis of human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-1) that causes Adult T-cell leukemia. It does so by inactivating NF-kB that regulates antiapoptotic proteins. It suppresses AP-I, a transcription factor involved in cellular proliferation and transformation (3). An vitro study showed that Fucoidan can suppress angiogenesis induced by Sarcoma 180 cells in mice (5). Fucoidan has immunomodulating effects and enhanced the activity of NK cells, which play a crucial role in mediating tumor cell death (2). The neuroprotective effects of fucoidan are attributed to its ability to suppress tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)- and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)-induced NO production in C6 glioma cells (11) and to its antioxidative effects (12).