© 2013 Abdel-Rahman et al. Background: It is estimated that venoms of marine cone snails (genus Conus) contain more than 100,000 different small peptides with a wide range of pharmacological and biological actions. Some of these peptides were developed into potential therapeutic agents and as molecular tools to understand biological functions of nervous and cardiovascular systems. In this study we examined the cytotoxic and anticancer properties of the marine vermivorous cone snail Conus vexillum (collected from Hurgada and Sharm El-Shaikh, Red Sea, Egypt) and suggest the possible mechanisms involved. The in vitro cytotoxic effects of Conus venom were assessed against Ehrlich's ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells. Results: Conus venom treatment resulted in concentration-dependent cytotoxicity as indicated by a lactate dehydrogenase leakage assay. Apoptotic effects were measured in vivo by measuring levels of reactive oxygen species and oxidative defense agents in albino mice injected with EAC cells. Conus venom (1.25 mg/kg) induced a significant increase (p < 0.05) in several oxidative stress biomarkers (lipid peroxidation, protein carbonyl content and reactive nitrogen intermediates) of EAC cells after 3, 6, 9 and 12 hours of venom injection. Conus venom significantly reduced (p < 0.05) the activities of oxidative defense enzymes (catalase and superoxide dismutase) as well as the total antioxidant capacity of EAC cells, as evidenced by lowered levels of reduced glutathione. Conclusions: These results demonstrate the cytotoxic potential of C. vexillum venom by inducing oxidative stress mediated mechanisms in tumor cells and suggest that the venom contains novel molecules with potential anticancer activity.
Abdel-Rahman, M. A., Abdel-Nabi, I. M., El-Naggar, M. S., Abbas, O. A., & Strong, P. N. (2013). Conus vexillum venom induces oxidative stress in Ehrlich’s ascites carcinoma cells: An insight into the mechanism of induction. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins Including Tropical Diseases, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1678-9199-19-10