Cytotoxic, antioxidant and phytochemical analysis of Gracilaria species from Persian Gulf


1 Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Isfahan Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran


Background: Marine algae, also called seaweeds, are abundantly present in the coastal area of Iran, especially in Persian Gulf. These plants contain important phytochemical constituents and have potential biological activities. The present study investigated the presence of phytochemical constituents and total phenolic quantification of the seaweeds Gracilaria salicornia and Gracilaria corticata. Cytotoxicity of seaweeds was tested against HT-29, HeLa, and MCF-7 cell lines. Antioxidant potential of these two Gracilaria species was also analyzed.
Materials and Methods: Extracts of G. salicornia and G. corticata were subjected to phytochemical and cytotoxicity tests. Phytochemical screenings were employed to identify the chemical constituents and total phenolic content. Cytotoxicity was characterized by IC50of human cancer cell lines (MCF-7, HeLa, and HT-29) using sulforhodamine assay. Antioxidant activities were evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl.
Results: The analysis revealed that tannins were the most abundant compounds in G. corticata while sterols and triterpenes were the most abundant ones in G. salicornia, but the total phenolic content of the two seaweeds was similar. Cytotoxic results showed that both species could inhibit cell growth effectively, especially against HT-29 cell line.
Conclusion: Considerable phytochemicals, high antioxidant potential, and moderate cytotoxic activity of G. salicornia and G. corticata make them appropriate candidates for further studies and identification of their bioactive principles.


Smit AJ. Medicinal and pharmaceutical uses of seaweed natural products: A review. J Appl Phycol 2004;16:245-62.  Back to cited text no. 1
Yegdaneh A, Putchakarn S, Yuenyongsawad S, Ghannadi A, Plubrukarn A. 3-oxoabolene and 1-oxocurcuphenol, aromatic bisabolanes from the sponge Myrmekioderma sp. Nat Prod Commun 2013;8:1355-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Blunt JW, Copp BR, Hu WP, Munro MH, Northcote PT, Prinsep MR. Marine natural products. Nat Prod Rep 2007;24:31-86.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kuda T, Taniguchi E, Nishizawa M, Araki Y. Fate of water-soluble polysaccharides in dried Chorda filum a brown alga during water washing. J Food Compost Anal 2002;15:3-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
Mtolera MS, Semesi AK. Antibacterial activity of extracts from six green algae from Tanzania. In: Current Trends in Marine Botanical Research in the East African Region. Uppsala, Sweden: Gotab AB; 2000. p. 211-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
Kusumoto IT, Nakabayashi T, Kida H, Miyashrio T, Hattori M, Namba T. Shimotohno Screening of various plant extracts used in ayurvedic medicine for inhibitory effects on human immunodeficiency virus-I (HIV-I) protease. Phytother Res 1995;9:180.  Back to cited text no. 6
Fitton JH. Antiviral properties of marine algae. In: Critchley AT, Ohno M, Largo DB, editors. World Seaweed Resources. Wokingham, UK: Windows and Macintosch, ETI Information Services; 2006. p. 7.  Back to cited text no. 7
González del Val A, Platas G, Basilio A, Cabello A, Gorrochategui J, Suay I, et al. Screening of antimicrobial activities in red, green and brown macroalgae from Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). Int Microbiol 2001;4:35-40.  Back to cited text no. 8
Sharmila S, Rebecca LJ. A comparative study on the degradation of leather industry effluent by marine algae. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res 2014;25:46-50.  Back to cited text no. 9
Tuney I, Cadirci BH, Unal D, Sukatar A. Antimicrobial activities of the extracts of marine algae from the coast of Urla (Izmir, Turkey). Turk J Biol 2006;30:171-5.  Back to cited text no. 10
Garg HS, Sharma T, Bhakuni DS, Pramanik BN, Bose AK. An antiviral sphingosine derivative from green alga Ulva fasiata. Tetrahedron Lett 1992;33:1641-4.   Back to cited text no. 11
Tang HF, Yang-Hua Y, Yao XS, Xu QZ, Zhang SY, Lin HW. Bioactive steroids from the brown alga Sargassum carpophyllum. J Asian Nat Prod Res 2002;4:95-101.  Back to cited text no. 12
Aliya R, Shameel M. Phycochemical evaluation of four coenocytic green seaweeds from the coast of Karachi. Pak J Mar Biol 1999;5:65-76.  Back to cited text no. 13
Thangam TS, Kathiresan K. Mosquito larvicidal activity of marine plant extracts with synthetic insecticides. Bot Mar 1991;34:537-9.  Back to cited text no. 14
Ghannadi A, Plubrukarn A, Zandi K, Sartavi K, Yegdaneh A. Screening for antimalarial and acetylcholinesterase inhibitory activities of some Iranian seaweeds. Res Pharm Sci 2013;8:113-8.  Back to cited text no. 15
Sohrabipour J, Rabiei R. The checklist of green algae of the Iranian coastal lines of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Iran J Bot 2007;13:146-9.  Back to cited text no. 16
Sohrabipour J, Nejadsatari T, Assadi M, Rebei R. The marine algae of the Southern coast of Iran, Persian Gulf, Lengeh area. Iran J Bot 2004;10:83-93.  Back to cited text no. 17
Safa O, Soltanipoor MA, Rastegar S, Kazemi M, Nourbakhsh Dehkordi K, Ghannadi A. An ethnobotanical survey on hormozgan province, Iran. Avicenna J Phytomed 2013;3:64-81.  Back to cited text no. 18
Kamba AS, Hassan LG. Phytochemical screening and antimicrobial activities of Euphorbia balsamifera leaves, stems and root against some pathogenic microorganisms. Afr J Pharm Pharmacol 2010;4:645-52.  Back to cited text no. 19
Geran RI, Greenberg NH, Macdonald MM, Shumacher AM, Abbott BJ. Protocols for screening chemical agents and natural products against animal tumors and other biological systems. Cancer Chem Rep 1972;3:1-103.   Back to cited text no. 20
Pourmorad F, Hosseinimehr SJ, Shahabimajd N. Antioxidant activity, phenol and flavonoid contents of some selected Iranian medicinal plants. Afr J Biotechnol 2006;5:1142-5.  Back to cited text no. 21
Braca A, De Tommasi N, Di Bari L, Pizza C, Politi M, Morelli I. Antioxidant principles from Bauhinia tarapotensis. J Nat Prod 2001;64:892-5.  Back to cited text no. 22
Manilal A, Sujith S, Kiran GS, Selvin J, Shakir C, Gandhimathi R, et al. Biopotentials of seaweeds collected from South West Coast of India. J Mar Sci Technol 2009;17:67-73.  Back to cited text no. 23
Yamamoto I, Takahashi M, Tamura E, Maruyama H, Mori H. Antitumor activity of edible marine algae: Effect of crude fucoidan fractions prepared from edible brown seaweeds against L-1210 leukemia. Hydrobiologia 1984;116:145-8.  Back to cited text no. 24
Xu N, Fan X, Yan X, Tseng C. Screening marine algae from China for their antitumor activities. J Appl Phycol 2004;16:451-6.  Back to cited text no. 25
McDermid KJ, Stuercke B. Nutritional composition of edible Hawaiian seaweeds. J Appl Phycol2003;15:513-24.  Back to cited text no. 26
Norziah MH, Ching CY. Nutritional composition of edible seaweed Gracilaria changgi. Food Chem2006;68:69-76.  Back to cited text no. 27
Erfani N, Nazemosadat Z, Moein M. Cytotoxic activity of ten algae from the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea on human breast cancer cell lines; MDA-MB-231, MCF-7, and T-47D. Pharmacognosy Res 2015;7:133-7.  Back to cited text no. 28
Saeidnia S, Gohari AR, Shahverdi AR, Permeh P, Nasiri M, Mollazadeh K.In vitro antitumor activity of Gracilaria corticata (a red alga) against jurkat and molt-4 human cancer cell lines. Afr J Biotechnol 2010;9:6787-90.  Back to cited text no. 29
Cook NC, Samman S. Flavonoids: Chemistry, metabolism, cardioprotective effects and dietary sources. J Nutr Biochem 1996;7:66-76.  Back to cited text no. 30