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Spirulina maxima L-asparaginase: Immobilization, Antiviral and Antiproliferation Activities

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 2 ]


Hanaa H. Abd El-Baky* and Gamal S. El-Baroty*   Pages 154 - 163 ( 10 )


Background: L-asparaginase (L-AsnA) enzyme has gained significant attention in the food, biocatalysts and pharmaceutics industry. It (L-AsnA) has been widely used in food processing industries as a promising acrylamide mitigating agent and as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of certain human cancers.

Objective: Based on US Patent (4,433,054; 1984), L-asparaginase (L-AsnA) enzyme is immobilized by admixing the active enzyme on the polysaccharide to be in a gel form. The storage stability of immobilized L-AsnA enzyme and its anti-proliferation and antiviral activity were determined.

Methods: In the present study, S. maxima was cultured at large scales (300 liter) for the production of enough extracellular L-asparaginase (L-AsnA) using modified (high N concentration) Zarrouk medium as we reported in a previous study. L-AsnA was immobilized on natural polymers, as agar cake beads, agarose pieces and gelatin blocks, in order to evaluate the efficiency of physical entrapment techniques. Anti-proliferation properties of L-AsnA against lung carcinoma A549, hepatocellular carcinoma Hep-G2 and prostate carcinoma PC3 human cancer cell lines were assessed by the MTT cell viability method. In addition, the antiviral activity against Coxsackie B3 (CSB3) Virus was assessed.

Results: The highest L-AsnA immobilized activity and immobilization yield were achieved with agar cakes bead. The purified S. maxima L-AsnA showed good antiviral activity against Coxsackie B3 (CSB3) Virus in a dose-dependent manner with an IC50 value 17.03 μg/ml. The antiviral mode of action is presumably due to their capability of inhibiting attachment, blocking the adsorption and penetration event of the viral replication cycle with 89.24%, 72.78% and 72.78%, respectively. Also, S. maxima L-AsnA showed anti-proliferation effect against lung carcinoma A549, hepatocellular carcinoma Hep-G2 and prostate carcinoma PC3 human cancer cell lines, with an IC50 of 22.54, 24.65 and 56.61 μg/ml, respectively.

Conclusion: It is interesting to favor L-asparaginase of S. maxima which showed antiviral activity and anti-proliferation effect against different types of human cell lines. Thus, S. maxima microalgae might be a good source for L-AsnA enzymes and can be immobilized on natural polymers.


L-asparaginase, anti-proliferation activity, antiviral activity, Spirulina maxima, enzyme, virus.


Plant Biochemistry Department, National Research Centre, Cairo, Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Cairo

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