Fighting SARS-CoV-2 with green seaweed Ulva sp. extract: Extraction protocol predetermines crude ulvan extract anti-SARS-CoV-2 inhibition properties in in vitro Vero-E6 cells assay

Shai Shefer, Arthur Robin, Alexander Chemodanov, Mario Lebendiker, Robert Bostwick, Lynn Rasmussen, Michael Lishner, Michael Gozin, Alexander Golberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to screen for novel compounds with antiviral activity against SARS-COV-2. Here we compared chemical composition and the in vitro anti- SARS-COV-2 activity of two different Ulva sp. crude ulvan extracts: one obtained by an HCl-based and another one by ammonium oxalate-based (AOx) extraction protocols. The composition of the crude extracts was analyzed and their antiviral activity was assessed in a cytopathic effect reduction assay using Vero E6 cells. We show that the extraction protocols have a significant impact on the chemical composition, anti- SARS-COV-2 activity, and cytotoxicity of these ulvan extracts. The ulvan extract based on the AOx protocol had a higher average molecular weight, higher charge, and 11.3-fold higher antiviral activity than HCl-based extract. Our results strongly suggest that further bioassay-guided investigation into bioactivity of compounds found in Ulva sp. ulvan extracts could lead to the discovery of novel anti-SARS-CoV-2 antivirals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12398
JournalPeerJ
Volume9
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2021

Keywords

  • Antiviral
  • Extraction
  • Macroalgae
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Seaweed
  • Sulfated polysaccharides
  • Ulva sp.
  • Ulvan

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