Protocol to Isolate Sponge-associated Fungi from Tropical waters and an Examination of their Cardioprotective Potential

Order of Publishing in Issue: 
5
Volume :4
Issue :4
Regular
October, 2010
Page No: 
881-899
Authors: 
Catherina Caballero-George[a]*, Jessica Bolaños[a], Edgardo Ochoab, José Luis Carballo[c], José Antonio Cruz[c] and A. Elizabeth Arnold[d]
Address: 
aUnit of Molecular Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy, Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services, Bld. 219, City of Knowledge, Clayton, Panama Republic
Address: 
bSmithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Roosevelt Ave., Tupper Building – 401, Balboa, Ancon, Panama, Republic of Panama
Address: 
c Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Univeridad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Avenida Joel Montes Camarena S/N, Mazatlán, Mexico.
Address: 
d Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, School of Plant Sciences, 1140 E. South Campus Drive, Forbes 303, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, United States of America

Fungi represent an essential component ofbiodiversity not only because of their high speciesrichness at multiple scales, but also because oftheir ecological, evolutionary and socio-economicsignificance. Despite poorly understood naturalhistory and uncertain estimates of diversity,marine fungi have been identified as a majorsource of new natural products withpharmacological applications. The aims of thisstudy were (1) to characterize fungi associatedwith marine sponges in protected areas of thePacific and Caribbean coasts of Panama, and (2)to examine their effects through radioligandbinding assays on endothelin ETA (ETA) andneuropeptide Y Y1 (Y1) receptors, which providean indication of cardioprotective potential. A totalof 369 marine sponges were collected in areas ofhigh biodiversity along the Panamanian coasts,including 156 from the western Caribbean and213 from the eastern Pacific. From these, 2,747and 2,263 fungal isolates were recovered,respectively, with variable isolation frequencieswhen sponge fragments were cultivated on fivemedia. After determining the seasonality,geographic stucture, and taxonomic diversity of these fungal assemblages, we identified fivestrains that inhibited by > 50% the binding of [3H]BQ-123 and one the binding of [3H] neuropeptideY to the ETA and Y1 receptors, respectively, at100 ?g/ml. Further studies are required todetermine whether these interactions are agonisticor antagonistic. Drawing from our methods forisolating and screening these fungi we propose ageneral protocol for capturing, cataloguing, andassessing the pharmacological potential ofpreviously undiscovered fungi associated withmarine sponges.

Keywords: 
Ascomycota, fungi, sponges, endothelin ETA, NPY Y1
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