August 8, 2020

Evaluating the pharmacological activity of Caribbean sponges


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img_24200BY TARA D From SMN Weekly

In these organisms (Caribbean sponges) science have found different compounds to produce useful drugs in diseases such as cancer or tumors.

That was the goal of the research conducted by , Master in Biotechnology of the National University in Colombia, who analyzed in vitro antiproliferative and genotoxic activity of a fraction with cytotoxic activity of extracts obtained from the marine sponge Topsentia ophiraphidites, .

In this regard, Professor Maria Elena Marquez explained that biodiversity research Colombian marine sponges has been developing the eight years the Group of Animal Biotechnology, Faculty of Sciences, the Marine Natural Products Group, University of Antioquia.

The idea of ​​this research is to identify potentially bioactive molecules could be found in sponges. That is, “know what they are like drug and it will operate as an antiparasitic, antiviral or antitumor because marine sponges are primitive animals that need many defenses against predators, due to their sessile feature (do not move), so produce very potent substances with different activities, “explains the teacher.

These studies are made on the assumption that one of the most widely used drugs in the treatment of cancer is derived from marine sponges, which has made these species intense area of ​​research worldwide. The studies focus on finding molecules to produce new drugs, as current limitations or side effects.

As for this specific task, the student then evaluated the bioactivity in tumor cells of leukemia and control.

Antiproliferative test was to find the potential to inhibit tumor cell growth, and the genotoxic, to see if the substance to be evaluated has any effect on the of cells.

“Usually when one is looking for the active profile of a substance, wants to be cytotoxic but not genotoxic, because the latter has to do with the side effects of the drugs used in cancer,” says the professor.

Precisely in tests, in which the T4 fraction of the sponge provided by the laboratory of Marine Natural Products, University of Antioquia, was analyzed it was found that this affected the cycle of non-tumor cells and caused genotoxic damage both the tumor line and in control, which is not ideal.

Therefore, the researcher recommended that fraction evaluate lines derived from other tumor, in order to determine a possible differential effect and antimicrobial activities and other antimalarial type, among others.

Cancer is considered one of the most frequent causes of death, especially in developing countries, so that any study contributes to the knowledge of potential sources of new drugs is vital.

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