Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 125–130 | Cite as

Inhibitory effect of phycocyanin from Spirulina platensis on the growth of human leukemia K562 cells

  • Yufeng Liu
  • Lizhi Xu
  • Ni Cheng
  • Lijun Lin
  • Chengwu Zhang


The effect of phycocyanin from Spirulinaplatensis on the growth of human chronic myelogenousleukemia-blast crisis K562 cells was studied bysemi-solid agar assay and cell viability measurement. Phycocyanin significantly inhibited the growth of K562cells in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 value ofthe phycocyanin was 72.5 mg L-1. After the K562cells were cultured with phycocyanin for 6 days, flowcytometric assays showed that more K562 cells wereblocked to progress through S-phase and arrested at G1phase. DNA fragmentation assay indicated that therewas no ladder of DNA fragments of approximately 200-bpmultiples, indicating that apoptosis had not occurred. Western blot analysis showed that Bcl-2 protein wasexpressed, but its level remained unchanged, whereasthe expression level of c-myc increased. Thesefindings suggest that phycocyanin may be able toinhibit the growth of K562 cells by pathways otherthan apoptosis, and that changed a expression patternof the c-myc protein may be involved in such inhibition.

Bcl-2 C-myc growth inhibition G1 arrest K562 cells Phycocyanin Spirulina platensis 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yufeng Liu
    • 1
  • Lizhi Xu
    • 1
  • Ni Cheng
    • 2
  • Lijun Lin
    • 1
  • Chengwu Zhang
    • 3
  1. 1.Medical SchoolNanjing UniversityNanjingPR of China
  2. 2.Department of Biological Science & TechnologyNanjing UniversityNanjingPR of China
  3. 3.Department of Applied BiochemistryNanjing University of Chemical TechnologyNanjingPR of China

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