Current Microbiology

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 266–271 | Cite as

In Vitro Antioxidant, Antihemolytic, and Anticancer Activity of the Carotenoids from Halophilic Archaea

  • Jing Hou
  • Heng-Lin Cui


Halophilic archaea represent a promising natural source of carotenoids. However, little information is available about the biological effects of carotenoids from halophilic archaea. In this study, the carotenoids produced by seven halophilic archaeal strains Halogeometricum rufum, Halogeometricum limi, Haladaptatus litoreus, Haloplanus vescus, Halopelagius inordinatus, Halogranum rubrum, and Haloferax volcanii were identified by ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, thin-layer chromatography, and high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The C50 carotenoids bacterioruberin and its derivatives monoanhydrobacterioruberin and bisanhydrobacterioruberin were found to be the predominant carotenoids. The antioxidant capacities of the carotenoids from these strains were significantly higher than β-carotene as determined by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging assay. The antihemolytic activities of these carotenoid extracts against H2O2-induced hemolysis in mouse erythrocytes were 3.9–6.3 times higher than β-carotene. A dose-dependent in vitro antiproliferative activity against HepG2 cells was observed for the extract from Hgm. limi, while that from Hpn. vescus exhibited a relatively high activity in a dose-independent manner. These results suggested that halophilic archaea could be considered as an alternative source of natural carotenoids with high antioxidant, antihemolytic, and anticancer activity.


Carotenoids Halophilic archaea Antioxidant Antihemolysis Anticancer 



This work was financially supported by grants from National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31600002 and 31370054), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project (No. 2015M581728), Jiangsu Planned Projects for Postdoctoral Research Funds (No. 1501069C), and the Advanced Talent Foundation of Jiangsu University (No. 15JDG062). The authors thank Prof. Aharon Oren (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) for many helpful suggestions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

284_2017_1374_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (334 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 333 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Food and Biological EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangPeople’s Republic of China

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