Selective Cytotoxicity of α-Santonin from the Persian Gulf Sponge Dysidea Avara on Pediatric ALL B-lymphocytes via Mitochondrial Targeting

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Faculty of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Persian Gulf and Oman Sea Ecological Center, Iranian Fisheries Science Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Bandar Abbas, Iran.


Background: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is one of the most dominant malignancies among children,
characterized by production of immature and dysfunctional blasts which are resistant to cytotoxic chemotherapeutic
agents. Therefore, research protocols are currently focusing on discovery of novel anti-cancer agents to enhance survival
rates and decrease unwanted side effects. Approximately two-thirds of the planet is covered by oceans with a massive
range of marine organisms of interest to scientists in pharmaceutical fields. Methods: Among marine resources, sponges
are known to have beneficial effects in the treatment of numerous malignancies. One fraction of crude extracts containing
α-Santonin was made from the Persian Gulf marine sponge, Dysidea avara, and investigated for anticancer effects.
Results: Treatment of ALL B-lymphocytes with the Dysidea avara extract caused augmentation in ROS generation,
decline in mitochondrial membrane potential, mitochondrial swelling, release of cytochrome c from mitochondria
and activation of caspase-3 only in mitochondria isolated from B-ALL lymphocytes. Conclusion: In brief, our results
suggest that Dysidea avara extracts may selectively induce apoptosis in malignant pediatric lymphocytes.


Main Subjects