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Keywords:

  • Spirulina platensis;
  • hydrolysis;
  • polypeptides;
  • antitumor;
  • nanoencapsulation

Spirulina platensis is a multicellular edible blue-green alga with abundant proteins (∼60%). No report is available on the antitumor polypeptides from the whole proteins of S. platensis. In this study, for the first time, an antitumor polypeptide Y2 from trypsin digest of S. platensis proteins was obtained by using freeze-thawing plus ultrasonication extraction, hydrolysis with four enzymes (trypsin, alcalase, papain, and pepsin), and gel filtration chromatography. The results showed that the degree of hydrolysis can be ordered as: trypsin (38.5%) > alcalase (31.2%) > papain (27.8%) > pepsin (7.1%). For MCF-7 and HepG2 cells, at 250 µg/mL, the maximum inhibitory rate of Y2 was 97%, while standard drug 5-FU was 55 and 97%, respectively. Furthermore, the nanoencapsulation of Y2 with chitosan (CS) was also investigated. After nanoencapsulation, the maximum encapsulation efficiency and polypeptides contents are 49 and 15%, respectively; and the antitumor activity is basically not lost. These data demonstrated the potential of nanopolypeptides (Y2-CS) in food and pharmaceutical applications. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 29:1230–1238, 2013