Polysaccharopeptide enhanced the anti-cancer effect of gamma-tocotrienol through activation of AMPK

Ji Liu, Eunice Yuen Ting Lau, Jiezhong Chen, Joan Yong, Kai Dun Tang, Jessica Lo, Irene Oi Lin Ng, Kin Wah Lee, Ming Tat Ling

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) frequently relapses after hormone ablation therapy. Unfortunately, once progressed to the castration resistant stage, the disease is regarded as incurable as prostate cancer cells are highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy.Method: We recently reported that the two natural compounds polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and Gamma-tocotrienols (γ-T3) possessed potent anti-cancer activities through targeting of CSCs. In the present study, using both prostate cancer cell line and xenograft models, we seek to investigate the therapeutic potential of combining γ-T3 and PSP in the treatment of prostate cancer.Result: We showed that in the presence of PSP, γ-T3 treatment induce a drastic activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This was accompanied with inactivation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), as evidenced by the increased phosphorylation levels at Ser 79. In addition, PSP treatment also sensitized cancer cells toward γ-T3-induced cytotoxicity. Furthermore, we demonstrated for the first time that combination of PSP and γ-T3 treaments significantly reduced the growth of prostate tumor in vivo.Conclusion: Our results indicate that PSP and γ-T3 treaments may have synergistic anti-cancer effect in vitro and in vivo, which warrants further investigation as a potential combination therapy for the treatment of cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number303
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • AMPK
  • Polysaccharopeptide
  • Prostate cancer
  • Tocotrienol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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