Astaxanthin inhibits proliferation of human gastric cancer cell lines by interrupting cell cycle progression

Jung Ha Kim, Jong Jae Park, Beom Jae Lee, Moon Kyung Joo, Hoon Jai Chun, Sang Woo Lee, Young Tae Bak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalGut and liver
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License.


  • Astaxanthin
  • Extracellular signal-regulated kinase
  • Human gastric adenocarcinoma
  • P27
  • Proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Astaxanthin inhibits proliferation of human gastric cancer cell lines by interrupting cell cycle progression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this