Fucus vesiculosus extract inhibits the proteolytic activity and gene expression of matrix metalloproteinases in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)

  • Jonhard Eysturskarð
  • Sunnvør í Kongsstovu
  • Daisy Færø
  • Ása Jacobsen
  • Hóraldur Joensen

DOI: 10.1007/s10499-017-0157-7

Cite this article as:
Eysturskarð, J., í Kongsstovu, S., Færø, D. et al. Aquacult Int (2017). doi:10.1007/s10499-017-0157-7


Fucoidans are sulfated fucose-rich polysaccharides found in macroalgae. Multiple biological functions have been attributed to fucoidans including inhibitory activity against matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). A recent study showed that kidney and blood remains left in the abdominal cavity after gutting had a significant negative effect on gaping and fillet firmness in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.). The authors hypothesized that one reason could be that MMPs from kidney and blood remains break down the connective tissue in Atlantic salmon fillets. The objectives of this study were to investigate the presence of MMPs in Atlantic salmon kidney and the inhibitory effect of a Fucus vesiculosus extract (FVE) on the proteolytic activity and gene expression of MMPs in Atlantic salmon. The inhibitory effect of FVE was compared to the inhibitory effect of the synthetic broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor marimastat. In this study, we found that FVE inhibits the proteolytic activity of MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, and MMP-13 in Atlantic salmon kidney as well as MMP-2 gene expression in Atlantic salmon liver. Although the inhibitory effect of FVE on the proteolytic activity of MMPs is small compared to the inhibitory effect of marimastat, both FVE and marimastat inhibit 80% of the DQ-gelatin breakdown caused by Atlantic salmon kidney at a concentration of 0.1 mg mL−1. This indicates that FVE may also be capable of inhibiting other proteinases present in Atlantic salmon kidney. Overall, our findings suggest that FVE could be used in the fish processing industry to limit collagenase and gelatinase activity, thus reducing the connective tissue degradation in Atlantic salmon fillets.


Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.Fucus vesiculosus extract (FVE) Kidney Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) 



Extracellular matrix


Elongation factor 1-alpha


Fucus vesiculosus extract


Matrix metalloproteinases


Polymerase chain reaction


Relative fluorescence unit


Ribonucleic acid


Reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Research Council of the Faroe Islands
    Statoil Ltd
      Aquaculture Research Station of the Faroes

        Copyright information

        © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

        Authors and Affiliations

        1. 1.Aquaculture Research Station of the FaroesHvalvíkFaroe Islands
        2. 2.Department of Science and TechnologyUniversity of the Faroe IslandsFO-100 TórshavnFaroe Islands

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