• Gekko;
  • Sulfated polysaccharide;
  • Hepatocarcinoma;
  • Differentiation;
  • Proliferation


Gekko swinhonis Gūenther has been used as an anti-cancer drug in traditional Chinese medicine. Gekko sulfated polysaccharide (Gepsin) was investigated for its activity in hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatocarcinoma cell line (Bel-7402) and liver cell line (L-02) were exposed to Gepsin (100 μg/ml and 10 μg/ml). Gepsin did not suppress the proliferation and viability of normal liver L-02 cells, but strongly inhibited the proliferation of hepatocarcinoma Bel-7402 cells. Gepsin did not induce the apoptosis of Bel-7402 cells, but blocked cells in G2/M phase. Treated with Gepsin, Bel-7402 cells showed ultrastructural features of differentiation. AFP secretion decreased while ALB secretion increased markedly on Gepsin-treated cells. The data show that Gepsin suppressed the proliferation and induced differentiation of hepatocarcinoma, but the toxicity to normal liver cells was negligible.