Triterpene glycosides are characteristic secondary metabolites of sea cucumbers (Holothurioidea, Echinodermata). They have hemolytic, cytotoxic, antifungal, and other biological activities caused by membranotropic action. These natural products suppress the proliferation of various human tumor cell lines in vitro and, more importantly, intraperitoneal administration in rodents of solutions of some sea cucumber triterpene glycosides significantly reduces both tumor burden and metastasis. The anticancer molecular mechanisms include the induction of tumor cell apoptosis through the activation of intracellular caspase cell death pathways, arrest of the cell cycle at S or G2/M phases, influence on nuclear factors, NF-κB, and up-down regulation of certain cellular receptors and enzymes participating in cancerogenesis, such as EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor), Akt (protein kinase B), ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinases), FAK (focal adhesion kinase), MMP-9 (matrix metalloproteinase-9) and others. Administration of some glycosides leads to a reduction of cancer cell adhesion, suppression of cell migration and tube formation in those cells, suppression of angiogenesis, inhibition of cell proliferation, colony formation and tumor invasion. As a result, marked growth inhibition of tumors occurs in vitro and in vivo. Some holothurian triterpene glycosides have the potential to be used as P-gp mediated MDR reversal agents in combined therapy with standard cytostatics.
D.L., A., E.S., M., E.A., P., A.S., S., S.A., A., & V.I., K. (2015). Anticancer activity of sea cucumber triterpene glycosides. Marine Drugs, 13(3), 1202–1223. https://doi.org/10.3390/md13031202 LK - http://sfx.library.uu.nl/utrecht?sid=EMBASE&issn=16603397&id=doi:10.3390%2Fmd13031202&atitle=Anticancer+activity+of+sea+cucumber+triterpene+glycosides&stitle=Mar.+Drugs&title=Marine+Drugs&volume=13&issue=3&spage=1202&epage=1223&aulast=Aminin&aufirst=Dmitry+L.&auinit=D.L.&aufull=Aminin+D.L.&coden=MDARE&isbn=&pages=1202-1223&date=2015&auinit1=D&auinitm=L