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Novel Efficient Bioprocessing of Marine Chitins into Active Anticancer Prodigiosin


Van Bon Nguyen, Shan-Ping Chen, Thi Hanh Nguyen, Minh Trung Nguyen, Thi Thanh Thao Tran, Chien Thang Doan, Thi Ngoc Tran, Anh Dzung Nguyen, Yao-Haur Kuo, San-Lang Wang

Source title: 
Mar Drugs, 18(1): 15, 2019 (ISI)
Academic year of acceptance: 

Marine chitins (MC) have been utilized for the production of vast array of bioactive products, including chitooligomers, chitinase, chitosanase, antioxidants, anti-NO, and antidiabetic compounds. The aim of this study is the bioprocessing of MC into a potent anticancer compound, prodigiosin (PG), via microbial fermentation. This bioactive compound was produced by Serratia marcescens TKU011 with the highest yield of 4.62 mg/mL at the optimal conditions of liquid medium with initial pH of 5.65-6.15 containing 1% α-chitin, 0.6% casein, 0.05% K2HPO4, and 0.1% CaSO4. Fermentation was kept at 25 °C for 2 d. Notably, α-chitin was newly investigated as the major potential material for PG production via fermentation; the salt CaSO4 was also found to play the key role in the enhancement of PG yield of Serratia marcescens fermentation for the first time. PG was qualified and identified based on specific UV, MALDI-TOF MS analysis. In the biological activity tests, purified PG demonstrated potent anticancer activities against A549, Hep G2, MCF-7, and WiDr with the IC50 values of 0.06, 0.04, 0.04, and 0.2 µg/mL, respectively. Mytomycin C, a commercial anti-cancer compound was also tested for comparison purpose, showing weaker activity with the IC50 values of 0.11, 0.1, 0.14, and 0.15 µg/mL, respectively. As such, purified PG displayed higher 2.75-fold, 1.67-fold, and 3.25-fold efficacy than Mytomycin C against MCF-7, A549, and Hep G2, respectively. The results suggest that marine chitins are valuable sources for production of prodigiosin, a potential candidate for cancer drugs.