Cytotoxic activities of hexane, ethyl acetate and butanol extracts of marine sponges from Mauritian Waters on human cancer cell lines

Girish Beedessee, Avin Ramanjooloo, Geneviève Aubert, Laure Eloy, Rashmee Surnam-Boodhun, Rob W.M. Van Soest, Thierry Cresteil, Daniel E.P. Marie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The ocean is an exceptional source of natural products with many of them exhibiting novel structural features and bioactivity. As one of the most interesting phylum with respect to pharmacological active marine compounds, Poriferas have been investigated widely in the last few decades. A total of 60 organic extracts (hexane, ethyl acetate and butanol) from 20 species of marine sponges from Mauritius were screened at 50μg/ml in an in vitro screening assay against 9 human cancer cell lines. From these tested extracts, many exhibited pronounced cytotoxic effect at least in one of the cell lines and cell type cytotoxic specificity was observed. 27% of ethyl acetate, 11% of hexane and 2% of butanol extracts were found to possess a cytotoxicity ≥75% on 9 different cancer cell lines with the sponges Petrosia sp. 1, Petrosia sp. 2, Pericharax heteroraphis and Jaspis sp. being the most active. Overall, the HL-60 cellsweremuch more sensitive to most of the extracts than the other cell lines. We further evaluated the properties of the ethyl acetate (JDE) and hexane extract (JDH) of one sponge, Jaspis sp. on KB cells. JDE displayed a smaller IC50 than JDH. Clonogenic assay confirmed the antiproliferative effect of both extracts while mitochondrialmembrane potential change and microscopic analysis demonstrated extracts-induced apoptosis. Treatment with 100 ng/ml of JDE led to a significant increase of cells (24 h: 4.02%; 48 h: 26.23%) in sub-G1 phase. The cytotoxic properties of the tested extracts from these sponges suggest the presence of compounds with pharmacological potential and are currently undergoing fractionation to isolate the active constituents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-408
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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