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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

1 Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR/CIMAR), University of Porto, Rua dos Bragas 289, Porto 4050-123, Portugal 2 Laboratory for Bone Metabolism and Regeneration, Faculty of Dental Medicine, University of Porto, Rua Dr. Manuel Pereira da Silva, Porto 4200-393, Portugal 3 Health and Environmental Research Center (CISA), Superior School of Health Technology of Porto, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, Rua Valente Perfeito 322, Vila Nova de Gaia 4400-330, Portugal 4 Department of Biology Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, Edifício FC4, Porto 4169-007, Portugal 5 IBMC (Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology), University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre 823, Porto 4150-180, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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 (CC BY 3.0).

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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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