Discovery and Characterization of New Cyanobacterial Natural Products from Moorea sp Public

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/q524jq73f

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  • Natural products (secondary metabolites) are small organic molecules derived from plants, microbes, and marine organisms that have served as a diverse source of useful compounds pharmaceuticals. New biologically active natural products are critical as anti-infective and cancer drug leads. Cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, produce diverse cytotoxic metabolites that represent potential anticancer leads. A Red Sea strain of a Moorea cyanobacterium was isolated from field collections made during an exploratory expedition in 2007. A study was conducted to determine unique and known cytotoxic compounds produced by laboratory cultures of this Moorea strain. Large-scale Moorea cultures were harvested for chemical extraction and chromatographic purification of compounds by sequential vacuum liquid chromatography, solid phase extraction, and High Pressure Liquid Chromatography. The fractionation was guided by brine shrimp and cancer cell toxicity assays. Spectroscopic methods including mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance were used to characterize the structures of pure compounds isolated from the active fractions. The production of the known compounds apratoxin A and lyngbyabellin B was confirmed along with the new apratoxin analogs apratoxin A sulfoxide and apratoxin H. In addition, three hydrophobic HPLC fractions reduced cancer cell viability by 70%. These results demonstrate the profound ability for Moorea sp. to produce an abundance of cytotoxic secondary metabolites, which may serve as pharmaceutical lead compounds or molecular research probes.
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