Marine Biotechnology

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 205–214 | Cite as

The Effect of Ultrasonificated Extracts of Spirulina maxima on the Anticancer Activity

  • Sung-Ho Oh
  • Juhee Ahn
  • Do-Hyung Kang
  • Hyeon-Yong Lee
Original Article


The effect of ultrasonic extraction on extraction yields, cytotoxicity, and anticancer activity of Spirulina maxima was investigated in this study. Optimal extraction conditions were determined as 60 kHz frequency at 60°C for 30 min with 120 W intensity, which resulted in 19.3% of extraction yields and 19.1% of cytotoxicity on normal human cells. Yields from conventional water and ethanol extraction were 15.8% at 100°C and 8.3% at 80°C, respectively. It was found that the extracts obtained by ultrasonic extraction process selectively inhibited the digestive-related cancer cell lines, such as human stomach cancer cells, having 89% of the highest inhibition ratio and 4.5 of the highest selectivity. In adding 0.5 mg/mL of the extract, human promyelocytic leukemia cells' cell differentiation was increased 1.72 times over that of the control. Expression level of B cell lymphoma-2 from Hep3B cell was also effectively suppressed by the extract obtained at 60 kHz and 60°C, leading to the inhibition of the early step of carcinogenesis. This work suggests that anticancer activity of the extracts is due to water-soluble polysaccharides rather than proteins and is further supported by the result that the ultrasonification extraction process can efficiently extract relatively intact polysaccharides rather than digesting the proteins in S. maxima by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight and high performance size exclusion chromatography chromatogram analyses. Therefore, ultrasonic extraction increases both extraction yield and the biological activity of S. maxima extracts, which might be useful as an alternative natural anticancer agent in the medical and food industries.


Spirulina maxima Ultrasonification low-temperature extraction Anticancer activity 



This work was supported by the Grant of the Korea Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (The Regional Core Research Program/Medical & Bio-Materials Research Consortium). Authors deeply appreciate their financial supports.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sung-Ho Oh
    • 1
  • Juhee Ahn
    • 1
  • Do-Hyung Kang
    • 2
  • Hyeon-Yong Lee
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Bioscience and Biotechnology Division of Biomaterials EngineeringKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Korea Ocean Research & Development InstituteSeoulSouth Korea
  3. 3.Research Institute of Bioscience and BiotechnologyKangwon National UniversityChuncheonSouth Korea

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