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Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia

Print version ISSN 0102-695X


FUJII, Mutue T. et al. Comparative analysis of the corps en cerise in several species of Laurencia (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) from the Atlantic Ocean. Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2012, vol.22, n.4, pp.795-804.  Epub May 24, 2012. ISSN 0102-695X.

Different species of Laurencia have proven to be a rich source of natural products yielding interesting bioactive halogenated secondary metabolites, such as terpenoids and acetogenins. It is shown that such compounds are accumulated in the spherical, reniform to claviform refractive inclusions called corps en cerise (CC), which are intensively osmiophilic and located mainly in the cortical cells of the thalli and also in trichoblast cells. Up to now, it was believed that CC were present only in these two kinds of cells. Recently, however, a species of Laurencia, L. marilzae, with CC in all cells of the thallus, i.e., cortical, medullary, including the pericentral and axial cells, as well as in the trichoblasts, was described from the Canary Islands, and subsequently also reported to Brazil and Mexico. Within the Laurencia complex, only Laurencia species produce CC. Since the species of Laurencia are targets of interest for the prospection of bioactive substances due to their potential antibacterial, antifungal, anticholinesterasic, antileishmanial, cytotoxic, and antioxidant activities, the present paper carries out a comparative analysis of the corps en cerise in several species of Laurencia from the Atlantic Ocean to obtain basic information that can support natural product bioprospection projects. Our results show that the number and size of the CC are constant within a species, independent of the geographical distribution, corroborating their use for taxonomical purposes to differentiate groups of species that present a lower number from those that have a higher number. In this regard, there was a tendency for the number of CC to be higher in some species of Laurencia from the Canary Islands. The presence of CC can also be used to distinguish species in which these organelles are present in all cells of the thallus from those in which CC are restricted to the cortical cells. Among the species analyzed, L. viridis displayed the most varied secondary metabolites composition, such as sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes, all of which showed potent antiviral, cytotoxic, and antitumoral activities, including protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) inhibitory effects.

Keywords : biological activities; corps en cerise; Laurencia; Rhodophyta; secondary metabolites.

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