Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 11, pp 10747–10758 | Cite as

Effect of lycopene isolated from Chlorella marina on proliferation and apoptosis in human prostate cancer cell line PC-3

  • G. L. Renju
  • G. Muraleedhara KurupEmail author
  • Venkata Reddy Bandugula
Research Article


Even though the role of lycopene from tomato (trans form) in controlling prostate cancer was reported, lycopene (cis and trans 60:40) isolated from green algae Chlorella marina was not reported so far. The present study aimed to assess the anti-proliferative and apoptotic effect of lycopene from a new source and to compare the activity with available trans lycopene by using androgen-independent human prostate cancer cell lines. Exposure of PC-3 and DU-145 cell lines to algal lycopene (AL) at a dose of 20 and 50 μM significantly inhibited the growth and colony formation, and the percentage of inhibition was higher than tomatal lycopene (TL)-treated groups. The stability of AL in cell culture medium was high, when compared to TL under standard cell culture conditions. The level of lycopene was not detected in PC-3 cell lines cultured in medium lacking lycopene. Staining cells with acridine orange and ethidium bromide, the PC-3 control cells showed largely non-fragmented intact nucleoid. Stronger apoptosis signal was induced with higher concentrations (50 μM) of algal lycopene. Increased DNA damage was observed in AL- and TL-treated cells which appear as comet during single-cell gel electrophoresis. Flow cytometry results revealed that AL caused PC-3 cells to accumulate in the G0/G1 phase and to undergo apoptosis. The effect was higher in AL groups than TL-treated groups. Algal lycopene showed very significant anti-proliferative and apoptotic effect in human prostate cancer cell lines. Therefore, algal lycopene from C.marina would be recommended for the treatment of prostate cancer.


Lycopene Chlorella marina Prostate cancer Apoptosis Cell cycle 



We express gratitude to Dr. Hari, Sree Chithra Thirunal Institute of Medical Sciences, Trivandrum, India, for his help in the analysis of HPLC.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. L. Renju
    • 1
  • G. Muraleedhara Kurup
    • 1
    Email author
  • Venkata Reddy Bandugula
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of KeralaTrivandrumIndia
  2. 2.Sri Nidhi’s Research and Diagnostic CentreTirupathiIndia

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