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Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2019 Oct 11. doi: 10.2174/1871520619666191011161314. [Epub ahead of print]

Sera/Organ Lysates of Selected Animals Living in Polluted Environments Exhibit Cytotoxicity against Cancer Cell Lines.

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Department of Biological Sciences, School of Science and Technology, Sunway University, Bandar Sunway, Selangor, Malaysia.
Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, American University of Sharjah, University City, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.



Species such as crocodiles and cockroaches can withstand high radiation, reside in unsanitary conditions, thrive on germ-infested feed, and are exposed to heavy metals, yet they are not reported to develop cancer. We postulated that such species have mechanisms to defend themselves against developing cancer. Here, we tested selected species for potential cytotoxicity against selected cancer cell lines.


In this study, various species of vertebrates and invertebrates were procured including Columba livia, Gallus gallus domesticus, Varanus salvator, Cuora kamamora amboinensis, Reticulatus malayanus, Oreochromis mossambicus, Rattus rattus, American bullfrog, Donax sp., Polymesoda coaxans, Tenebrio molitor, Lumbricus terrestris, Blatta lateralis, Grammostola rosea, and Penaeus monodon. Species were dissected and their organ lysates/sera/haemolymph were prepared. Cytotoxicity assays were performed using Prostate Cancer cells (PC3), Henrietta Lacks cervical adenocarcinoma cells (HeLa) and human breast adenocarcinoma cells (MCF7) as well as human keratinized skin cells (Hacat), by measuring lactate dehydrogenase release as indicator for cell death. Growth inhibition assays were performed to determine the effects on cancer cell proliferation. Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were performed for molecular identification.


The results revealed that body lysates of Polymesoda coaxans demonstrated more than 99% growth inhibition of all cancer cell lines tested but not on normal Hacat cells. More importantly, serum of Reticulatus malayanus abolished growth and produced cytotoxicity. Hence these samples were subjected to Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) which detected 81 small molecules and putatively identified 20 molecules when matched against the METLIN database. Out of 1094 peptides, 21 peptides were identified while 1074 peptides were categorized as novel peptides. Based on properties like peptide amino acid composition, binary profile, dipeptide composition and pseudo-amino acid composition, 306 potential peptides were identified.


To our knowledge, here for the first time we report a comprehensive analyses of sera exhibiting cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines tested and identified several molecules using LC-MS/MS.


Antitumor activity; Hacat; Hela; MCF7; PC3; cytotoxicity; growth inhibitionc; polluted environment

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