Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. 48(1): 23-35



Characterization of bioactive molecules isolated from sea cucumber Athyonidium chilensis

Ignacio Sottorff1,3, Ambbar Aballay1,2, Víctor Hernández3, Luis Roa4, Lilian X. Muñoz1, Mario Silva3, José Becerra3 and Allisson Astuya1,2

1Cell Culture and Marine Genomics Laboratory, Marine Biotechnology Unit, Natural and Oceanographic Sciences, Universidad de Concepción, PO Box 160-C, Concepción, Chile
2Sur-Austral COPAS Program, Universidad de Concepción, PO Box 160-C, Concepción, Chile
3Natural Products Chemistry Laboratory, Botanic Department, Natural and Oceanographic Sciences, Universidad de Concepción. PO Box 160-C, Concepción, Chile
4Agri-Food Laboratories-Concepción, SGS Chile Ltda. Américo Vespucio 820, Parque Industrial Las Arucas, Talcahuano, Chile

E-mail: Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.


In the last decade, the interest for searching molecules with biomedical potential as well as innocuous for the environment has been increased. Under this perspective, the search for bioactive principles of marine origin has allowed to value the biological diversity present in aquatic systems. In phylum Echinodermata, the family Holothuridae is distinguished by its capacity of synthesizing molecules such as saponins and other secondary metabolites of high pharmacological interest because of their interesting haemolytic, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cytostatic and antineoplastic capacity. The aim of the present study was focused on the characterization of a purified extract obtained from Athyonidium chilensis (Holothuria) by chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques and the later assessment of its bioactive potential on in vitro models. As a result of these analyses 2 saponins were identified. The first with a molecular weight of 1522 Da and highly conjugated with monosaccharides. The second with a molecular weight of 764 Da was identified as holothurinoside D. The biological activity of the purified extract showed antibacterial, antifungal and cytotoxic activity on a neuroblastoma cell line. Outcomes of this study correspond to the first characterization of molecules with biological activity from Athyonidium  chilensis.

Key words:  Holothuria, holothurinoside D, saponins