EnhanceMicroAlgae partners at La Rochelle University (La Rochelle University/CNRS UMR 7266 LIENSs) are developing innovative processes to extract and purify microalgae pigments and original applications of microalgae pigments to kill cancer cells and sensitize cancer cells to the cytotoxic effect of anticancer drugs.
In their latest work, they studied Tisochrysis lutea (T. lutea, ex T. Isochrysis galbana or T-Iso), a marine haptophyte that was first isolated from Tahiti seawater. Because of its high content in lipids, this tropical species is commonly used in aquaculture to feed fishes, crustaceans and molluscs larvae. It is also a rich source of fucoxanthin with a high potential for nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. The purpose of this study was to detail the pigment composition of T. lutea and to develop an efficient process to recover highly purified fucoxanthin. Using ultra performant liquid chromatography coupled to diode arrays and high-resolution mass spectrometry detectors (UPLC-DAD-MS/MS), they demonstrated for the first time the presence of echinenone, 3-hydroxy-echinenone and chlorophyll c2-MonoGalactosylDiacylGlycerol [18:4/14:0] in unstressed cultures of T. lutea. The chemotaxonomic relevance of this updated pigment composition was discussed in relation to the Haptophyta phylum. A two-step purification of fucoxanthin was then optimized using centrifugal partition chromatography coupled to flash chromatography. This process allowed the efficient isolation of fucoxanthin (purity > 99%), that was further assessed as a low-toxicity antineoplastic and chemosensitizing natural product in human chemoresistant melanoma cells. This carotenoid exerted an antiproliferative activity in A2058 melanoma cells and reversed in vitro their chemoresistance to dacarbazine, a DNA-alkylating agent clinically used for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
Read more about this work published in Algal research here:
- Updated pigment composition of Tisochrysis lutea and purification of fucoxanthin using centrifugal partition chromatography coupled to flash chromatography for the chemosensitization of melanoma cells
You can learn more about the potential uses and applications of microalgae pigments to kill cancer cells and sensitize them to chemotherapy in the following papers:
- Carotenoids from Rhodomonas salina induce apoptosis and chemosensitization of human melanoma cells to vemurafenib and dacarbazine.
- Zeaxanthin from Porphyridium purpureum induces apoptosis in human melanoma cells expressing the oncogenic BRAF V600E mutation and sensitizes them to the BRAF inhibitor Vemurafenib.
- Antimelanoma activity of Heterocapsa triquetra pigments.
- Antiproliferative activity of Cyanophora paradoxa pigments in melanoma, breast and lung cancer cells.