Evaluation of cytotoxic and anti-tumor activity of partially purified serine protease isolate from the Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma
Objective: To isolate, partially purify and evaluate the cytotoxic and antitumor activity of a serine protease from the chosen Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Methods: Whole animal extract was prepared and purified its protein constituents by size and charge based chromatographic separation techniques using Sephadex G-50 and DEAE-Cellulose resin respectively. Average molecular weight of the protein isolate was determined and analyzed for its cytotoxic property against Vero cells in different dilutions (1: 20 and 1: 40) and anti-tumor activity by MTT assay (a colorimetric assay) using breast cancer cell line MCF-7, with tamoxifen as standard. Results: One of the protein constituents after purification was characterized as serine protease by Caseinolytic plate diffusion assay. Average molecular weight of this purified isolate was determined, by SDS-PAGE analysis with standard protein ladder, as of 15 kDa. The performed tests suggested that the 15kDa fraction has potent cytotoxic activity and satisfactory antitumor activity as well in vitro. Conclusions: Exact molecular mechanism of the cytotoxic and antitumor activities is yet to be explored and currently we are working on ultra-purification and biophysical characterization of this fraction. Further investigation into the mechanism(s) of cytotoxic and antitumor activities at molecular level would be useful in treatment of various classes of cancer and viral infections in future.
This work has been supported by the Research Grant for Faculty(Grant No. R&J/Budget/2011-12/251).
Mahendra Kumar Verma, Francies Xavier, Yogendra Kumar Verma, Kota Sobha. Evaluation of cytotoxic and anti-tumor activity of partially purified serine protease isolate from the Indian earthworm Pheretima posthuma. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2013; 3(11): 896-901.