Significant anticancer activity of a venom fraction derived from the Persian Gulf sea anemone, Stichodactyla haddoni

Document Type: Research article


1 Venom and Biotherapeutics Molecules Lab., Medical Biotechnology Dept., Biotechnology Research Center, Pasteur Institute of Iran. Tehran, Iran.

2 Iranian Fisheries Science Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization

3 Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences. Tehran, Iran.


Chemotherapy is still one of the main therapeutic regimens in cancer patients but its toxicity is a hard challenge for every patient yet. One of the available solutions is tracing for non-toxic anticancer agents from natural resources. Numerous proteins and peptides in the venom of sea anemones are potentially useful agents with pharmacological properties. Concerning to significance of this issue, the current study was aimed to finding a non-toxic anticancer fraction from the venom of the Persian Gulf sea anemone, Stichodactyla haddoni. Anticancer and hemolytic activity of crude venom was evaluated and followed by fractionation using RP-HPLC. Breast, Brain, and Colon cancer cell lines were selected to assessment of anticancer activity and toxicity. EC50 of crude venom on the abovementioned cancer cell lines were as 3.12, 4.32, and 12.5 µg, respectively. According to results obtained by paired sample t-test and comparison of toxicity of the fractions in normal cell line, F10, designated as hadonin, was determined as the candidate anti-cancer fraction. The non-toxic dose of F10 was 20 ng in which showed respectively 66, 29, and 7 anticancer activities on breast, brain, and colon cancer cell lines. According to results, anticancer activity of hadonin is of high pharmaceutical value to follow its therapeutic potency in animal model. Our result is the first report of an anticancer ca. 17.5 kDa protein in the Persian Gulf sea anemone with reasonable activity at nanogram level against three kinds of cancer cells with no toxicity on normal cells.