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Astaxanthin is a natural product gaining increasing attention due to its safety and anti-cancer properties. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms of the anti-cancer effects of astaxanthin on prostate cancer (PCa) cell lines using aggressive PCa DU145 cells. Also an instantaneous silenced cell line (si-STAT3) derived from DU145 and a control cell line (si-NK) were used for the MTT and colony formation assays to determine the role of astaxanthin in proliferation and colony formation abilities. Flow cytometry assays were used to detect the apoptosis of tumor cells. Migration and invasion assays detected the weakening of the respective abilities. Western blot and RT-PCR tests detected the levels of STAT3 protein and mRNA. Astaxanthin resulted in suppression of the proliferation of DU145 cells and the level of STAT3. The treatment of DU145 cells with astaxanthin decreased the cloning ability, increased the apoptosis percentage and weakened the abilities of migration and invasion of the cells. Furthermore, astaxanthin reduced the expression of STAT3 at protein and mRNA levels. The effects were enhanced when astaxanthin and si-STAT3 were combined. The results of animal experiments were consistent with the results in cells. Thus, astaxanthin inhibits the proliferation of DU145 cells by reducing the expression of STAT3.


Shao-Qian Sun, You-Xi Zhao, Si-Yu Li, Jing-Wen Qiang, Yi-Zhi Ji. Anti-Tumor Effects of Astaxanthin by Inhibition of the Expression of STAT3 in Prostate Cancer. Marine drugs. 2020 Aug 07;18(8)

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PMID: 32784629

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