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Mar. Drugs 2014, 12(1), 98-114; doi:10.3390/md12010098

Exploring Bioactive Properties of Marine Cyanobacteria Isolated from the Portuguese Coast: High Potential as a Source of Anticancer Compounds

Received: 11 November 2013 / Revised: 29 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 31 December 2013
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The oceans remain a major source of natural compounds with potential in pharmacology. In particular, during the last few decades, marine cyanobacteria have been in focus as producers of interesting bioactive compounds, especially for the treatment of cancer. In this study, the anticancer potential of extracts from twenty eight marine cyanobacteria strains, belonging to the underexplored picoplanktonic genera, Cyanobium, Synechocystis and Synechococcus, and the filamentous genera, Nodosilinea, Leptolyngbya, Pseudanabaena and Romeria, were assessed in eight human tumor cell lines. First, a crude extract was obtained by dichloromethane:methanol extraction, and from it, three fractions were separated in a Si column chromatography. The crude extract and fractions were tested in eight human cancer cell lines for cell viability/toxicity, accessed with the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and lactic dehydrogenase release (LDH) assays. Eight point nine percent of the strains revealed strong cytotoxicity; 17.8% showed moderate cytotoxicity, and 14.3% assays showed low toxicity. The results obtained revealed that the studied genera of marine cyanobacteria are a promising source of novel compounds with potential anticancer activity and highlight the interest in also exploring the smaller filamentous and picoplanktonic genera of cyanobacteria.
Keywords: marine cyanobacteria; natural products; anticancer potential marine cyanobacteria; natural products; anticancer potential
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Costa, M.; Garcia, M.; Costa-Rodrigues, J.; Costa, M.S.; Ribeiro, M.J.; Fernandes, M.H.; Barros, P.; Barreiro, A.; Vasconcelos, V.; Martins, R. Exploring Bioactive Properties of Marine Cyanobacteria Isolated from the Portuguese Coast: High Potential as a Source of Anticancer Compounds. Mar. Drugs 2014, 12, 98-114.

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