Apoptosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells Induced by Nanoencapsulated Polysaccharides Extracted from Antrodia Camphorata.
PLoS One. 2015 ;10(9):e0136782. Epub 2015 Sep 1. PMID: 26327534
Antrodia camphorata is a well-known medicinal mushroom in Taiwan and has been studied for decades, especially with focus on anti-cancer activity. Polysaccharides are the major bioactive compounds reported with anti-cancer activity, but the debates on how they target cells still remain. Research addressing the encapsulation of polysaccharides from A. camphorata extract (ACE) to enhance anti-cancer activity is rare. In this study, ACE polysaccharides were nano-encapsulated in chitosan-silica and silica (expressed as ACE/CS and ACE/S, respectively) to evaluate the apoptosis effect on a hepatoma cell line (Hep G2). The results showed that ACE polysaccharides, ACE/CS and ACE/S all could damage the Hep G2 cell membrane and cause cell death, especially in the ACE/CS group. In apoptosis assays, DNA fragmentation and sub-G1 phase populations were increased, and the mitochondrial membrane potential decreased significantly after treatments. ACE/CS and ACE/S could also increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, induce Fas/APO-1 (apoptosis antigen 1) expression and elevate the proteolytic activities of caspase-3, caspase-8 and caspase-9 in Hep G2 cells. Unsurprisingly, ACE/CS induced a similar apoptosis mechanism at a lower dosage (ACE polysaccharides = 13.2μg/mL) than those of ACE/S (ACE polysaccharides = 21.2 μg/mL) and ACE polysaccharides (25 μg/mL). Therefore, the encapsulation of ACE polysaccharides by chitosan-silica nanoparticles may provide a viable approach for enhancing anti-tumor efficacy in liver cancer cells.