Preparation, physicochemical characterization, and anti-proliferation of selenium nanoparticles stabilized by Polyporus umbellatus polysaccharide

Xiong Gao, Xiaofei Li, Jingjing Mu, Chi Tang Ho, Jiyan Su, Yuting Zhang, Xiaorong Lin, Zhongzheng Chen, Bin Li, Yizhen Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs), a novel selenium form, have attracted worldwide attention due to their bioactivities and low toxicity. This study aimed to assess the physicochemical characterization, storage stability, and anti-proliferative activities of SeNPs stabilized by Polyporus umbellatus polysaccharide (PUP). Results showed that orange-red, zero-valent, amorphous and spherical SeNPs with mean diameter of approximately 82.5 nm were successfully prepared by using PUP as a capping agent. PUP-SeNPs solution stored at 4 °C in dark condition could be stable for at least 84 days. Moreover, PUP-SeNPs treatment inhibited four cancer cell lines proliferation in a dose-dependent manner, while no significant cytotoxicity towards three normal cell lines was observed. Comparing with the other cancer cell lines (HepG2, Hela, and HT29), PUP-SeNPs displayed the most sensitive towards MDA-MB-231 cells with an IC50 value of 6.27 μM. Furthermore, PUP-SeNPs significantly up-regulated Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, promoted cytochrome c release, increased caspase-9, -8 and -3 activities, and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, suggesting that mitochondria-mediated and death receptor-mediated apoptotic pathways were activated in MDA-MB-231 cells. Besides, PUP-SeNPs possessed better anti-proliferative activity than selenomethionine as well as lower cytotoxicity than sodium selenite. Taken together, PUP-SeNPs have strong potential as a dietary supplement for application in cancer chemoprevention, especially breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-615
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)


  • Anti-proliferative activity
  • Apoptosis
  • Characterization
  • Polyporus umbellatus polysaccharide
  • Selenium nanoparticles
  • Stability

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