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Asian Journal of Biochemistry
Year: 2006  |  Volume: 1  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 262 - 275

Morphological, Chemical and Protein Characterization of the Red Sea Soft Coral Sarcophyton Species, a Comparative Study

Shymaa E. Bilasy, Sherief I. Khalifa, Hesham Saeed, Samy M. Saleh and Soad H. Abou El-Ela    

Abstract: Sarcophyton species are soft corals abundant in the Red Sea. Sarcophyton glaucum produces sarcophine that has a well documented antitumor activity and inhibitory activity against tumor promoters. This study was established to test the accuracy of the morphological and sclerite based taxonomy against the chemical fingerprints and the protein profiles for the same samples. High performance thin layer chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography analyses were performed on the organic extract obtained from the samples. The analyses revealed that all Sarcophyton samples belonging to different species contained sarcophine with varying concentrations. Total cellular proteins were extracted and subjected to 10% Sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Characteristic protein profiles were obtained for the different species studied. The data obtained from the protein profiles and the chemical fingerprints were consistent and in some instances disagreed with the morphological and/or the sclerite based identification of the Sarcophyton species. Furthermore, one of the Sarcophyton samples from Sharm El-Sheikh could not be identified by sclerite or morphological methods. It gave chemical and protein profiles that were different from all the other samples in this study.

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