Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 107-120

Hemolytic toxin from the soft coral Sarcophyton trocheliophorum: isolation and physiological characterization

Karthikayalu, SubbrayaluRama, VKirubagaran, RVenkatesan, R

The unifying characteristic of cnidarians is the production of protein and polypeptide toxins. The present study describes the identification of a hemolytic toxin from the soft coral Sarcophyton trocheliophorum. The crude extract was highly cytotoxic (EC50 = 50 ng/mL) against human erythrocytes. It was also tested for hemolytic activity by the blood agar plate method, resulting in a hemolytic halo of 12 mm with 50 µg of protein. The stability of the venom under different physiological conditions was analyzed. The venom hemolytic activity was augmented by alkaline and neutral pH whereas it was reduced in acidic pH. The activity was stable up to 60º C. The hemolytic activity was completely abolished by the addition of serum and reduced significantly during frequent freezing-thawing cycles. Toxin purification was performed by ammonium sulfate precipitation and subsequently desalted by dialysis against 10 mM sodium phosphate buffer (pH 7.2), followed by anion exchange chromatography on DEAE cellulose column and gel filtration chromatography using Sephadex G-50 matrix. The purified active fractions possessed a prominent protein of approximately 45 kDa, as revealed by SDS-PAGE.(AU)

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