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Biological and Proteomic Characterization of the Anti-Cancer Potency of Aqueous Extracts from Cell-Free Coelomic Fluid of Arbacia lixula Sea Urchin in an In Vitro Model of Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma

  • Autori: Luparello, Claudio; Branni, Rossella; Abruscato, Giulia; Lazzara, Valentina; Sugár, Simon; Arizza, Vincenzo; Mauro, Manuela; Di Stefano, Vita; Vazzana, Mirella
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Echinoderms are an acknowledged source of bioactive compounds exerting various beneficial effects on human health. Here, we examined the potential in vitro anti-hepatocarcinoma effects of aqueous extracts of the cell-free coelomic fluid obtained from the sea urchin Arbacia lixula using the HepG2 cell line as a model system. This was accomplished by employing a combination of colorimetric, microscopic and flow cytometric assays to determine cell viability, cell cycle distribution, the possible onset of apoptosis, the accumulation rate of acidic vesicular organelles, mitochondrial polarization, cell redox state and cell locomotory ability. The obtained data show that exposed HepG2 cells underwent inhibition of cell viability with impairment of cell cycle progress coupled to the onset of apoptotic death, the induction of mitochondrial depolarization, the inhibition of reactive oxygen species production and acidic vesicular organelle accumulation, and the block of cell motile attitude. We also performed a proteomic analysis of the coelomic fluid extract identifying a number of proteins that are plausibly responsible for anti-cancer effects. Therefore, the anti-hepatocarcinoma potentiality of A. lixula’s preparation can be taken into consideration for further studies aimed at the characterization of the molecular mechanism of cytotoxicity and the development of novel prevention and/or treatment agents.