A Low Molecular Weight Protein from the Sea Anemone Anemonia viridis with an Anti-Angiogenic Activity


  • Loret Erwann
  • Luis José
  • Nuccio Christopher
  • Villard Claude
  • Mansuelle Pascal
  • Lebrun Régine
  • Villard Pierre-Henri


  • Cancer
  • Drug discovery
  • Kunitz type inhibitor
  • Sea anemone
  • Antiangiogenic
  • Endothelial cells
  • RGD motif


Sea anemones are a remarkable source of active principles due to a decentralized venom system. New blood vessel growth or angiogenesis is a very promising target against cancer, but the few available antiangiogenic compounds have limited efficacy. In this study, a protein fraction, purified from tentacles of Anemonia viridis, was able to limit endothelial cells proliferation and angiogenesis at low concentration (14 nM). Protein sequences were determined with Edman degradation and mass spectrometry in source decay and revealed homologies with Blood Depressing Substance (BDS) sea anemones. The presence of a two-turn alpha helix observed with circular dichroism and a trypsin activity inhibition suggested that the active principle could be a Kunitz-type inhibitor, which may interact with an integrin due to an Arginine Glycin Aspartate (RGD) motif. Molecular modeling showed that this RGD motif was well exposed to solvent. This active principle could improve antiangiogenic therapy from existing antiangiogenic compounds binding on the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF).

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