In this study, we characterised and evaluated the anticancer activity of the antimicrobial peptides (AMP)s excreted by Anabas testudineus. To induce AMPs production, A. testudineus was exposed to heat de-activated Pseudomonas aeruginosa for 10 days. The secreted mucus was then extracted and subjected to antibacterial activity testing by disc diffusion method to confirm the fish’s AMPs production. The crude mucus was able to inhibit P. Aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli (inhibition zone were 12 ± 0.43 mm and 10 ± 0.23 mm, respectively). The crude mucus was then screened against human breast cancer cell lines MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 with IC50 of 4.27 ± 0.15 mg/ml and 4.97 ± 0.25 mg/ml, respectively. After further fractionation, identification through peptide sequencing and anticancer screening, two peptides, designated as AtMP1 and AtMP2 (23 kDa and 20 kDa respectively) has been identified to inhibit MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines. These peptides were then synthetically produced and subjected to cytotoxic assay to prove its efficacy against breast cancer cell line. The IC50 for AtMP1against MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 were 8.25 ± 0.14 μg/ml and 9.35 ± 0.25 μg/ml respectively, while IC50 for AtMP2 were 5.89 ± 0.15 μg/ml and 6.97 ± 0.25 μg/ml respectively. The peptide did not inhibit the proliferation of HS27 normal cell line. This study provided new prospects in the development of highly effective and selective cancer therapeutics based on antimicrobial peptides from animal mucus.
Dr. Mohd Shazrul Fazry graduated from The University of Queensland, Australia with a Ph.D. in Carcinogenesis. Since then, he has been working with potential local food product and natural resources to combat cancer.