Turkish Journal of Biology




Natural bioactive compounds have been found superior to chemical compounds for use in pharmaceutical applications. Such natural compounds include biologically active compounds present as a part of fungal metabolism that originate through different biochemical pathways and contain different structural groups like benzopyranones, phenols, toxins, and steroids. One such novel compound is a secondary metabolite extracted from the filamentous fungus Aspergillus japonicus Saito. The compound exhibited anticancer properties and was found to be harmless to normal human lymphocytes. The metabolites were separated by thin layer chromatography and screened for their cytotoxic potential through 3-(4,5-dimethythiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay in the cervical cancer cell line HeLa. Induction of apoptosis in the treated cervical cancer cell line HeLa was observed and confirmed through fluorescence microscopy, DNA fragmentation analysis, and caspase-3-enzyme activity assays. Preliminary chemical screening carried out indicated the presence of alkaloids in the bioactive fraction. The bioactive fraction was subjected to LC-MS analysis for characterization. This study indicated that the metabolite shows promise for use as an antineoplastic agent. This is the first report of an anticancer compound from A. japonicus.


Aspergillus japonicus, secondary metabolite, anticancer, HeLa cells, apoptosis, alkaloid

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