Inhibitory effects of chitooligosaccharides on tumor growth and metastasis

Kun Te Shen, Mei Huei Chen, Hing Yuen Chan, Jiiang Huei Jeng, Ying Jan Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)


Chitooligosaccharides (COS) are hydrolyzed products of chitosan and have been proven to exhibit various biological functions. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the anti-tumor growth, anti-metastatic potency and related pathways of COS extracted from fungi. In in vitro studies, we found that COS significantly inhibited human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cell proliferation, reduced the percentage of S-phase and decreased DNA synthesis rate in COS-treated HepG2 cells. Expressions of cell cycle-related genes were analyzed and the results indicated that p21 was up-regulated, while PCNA, cyclin A and cdk-2 were down-regulated. Moreover, we also found that the activity of metastatic related protein (MMP-9) could be inhibited by COS in Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) cells. In in vivo studies, we found that COS inhibited the tumor growth of HepG2 xenografts in severe combined immune deficient (SCID) mice. In a LLC-bearing mouse tumor growth and lung metastasis model, COS inhibited tumor growth and the number of lung colonies in LLC-bearing mice as well as the lung metastasis, and it prolonged the survival time of the LLC-mice. These results suggest a potential anti-tumor growth and anti-metastatic potency of COS in cancer chemoprevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1864-1871
Number of pages8
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Toxicology


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