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01.12.2018 | Primary Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Cancer Cell International 1/2018

C-Phycocyanin exerts anti-cancer effects via the MAPK signaling pathway in MDA-MB-231 cells

Cancer Cell International > Ausgabe 1/2018
Liangqian Jiang, Yujuan Wang, Guoxiang Liu, Huihui Liu, Feng Zhu, Huanhuan Ji, Bing Li
Wichtige Hinweise
Yujuan Wang, Guoxiang Liu, Huihui Liu, Feng Zhu and Huanhuan Ji contributed equally to this work



Triple-negative breast cancer is a biological subtype of breast cancer, which is unresponsive to conventional chemotherapies and has a poor prognosis. C-Phycocyanin (C-PC), a marine natural purified from Spirulina platensis, has been investigated that has anti-cancer function. The mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway plays a crucial role in the development and progression of cancer. Therefore, we would like to study the anti-cancer effects of C-phycocyanin in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer, and explore the role of MAPK pathway in the anti-tumor effects of C-phycocyanin.


Cell proliferation, cell cycle, cell apoptosis and cell migration were explored in breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cell lines. AKT, MAPK and membrane death receptor signaling were evaluated in MDA-MB-231 cell lines.


Our study indicated that C-phycocyanin inhibited cell proliferation and reduced colony formation ability of MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, C-phycocyanin induced cell cycle G0/G1 arrest by decreasing protein expression levels of Cyclin D1 and CDK-2 and increasing protein expression levels of p21 and p27. In addition, C-phycocyanin induced cell apoptotic by activating cell membrane surface death receptor pathway. Besides, C-phycocyanin down-regulated the protein expression levels of cyclooxygenase-2, and further inhibited MDA-MB-231 cells migration. We also found cell death induced by C-phycocyanin was carried through the MAPK signaling pathways. C-Phycocyanin was able to induce MDA-MB-231 cell apoptosis by activating p38 MAPK and JNK signaling pathways while inhibiting ERK pathway.


C-Phycocyanin exerted anti-cancer activity via the MAPK signaling pathway in MDA-MB-231 cells.
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