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Characterization and antitumor activity of camptothecin from endophytic fungus Fusarium solani isolated from Camptotheca acuminate

Xueqin Ran, Gen Zhang, Sheng Li, Jiafu Wang


Background: Camptothecin (CPT) is a potent drug against cancers, originally from plants. The endophytic fungi could produce the secondary metabolite same as the host and is used as medicine.

Objectives: The aim of this paper was to investigate an endophytic fungal CPT with anti-neoplastic activity.

Methods: Endophytic fungi were isolated from Camptotheca acuminata in China. CPT from strain S-019 was characterized by TLC, HPLC and EI-MS analysis. Anti-tumor activity of fungal CPT was detected by MTT and fluorescent dye methods using Vero and PC-3 cells.

Results: A total of 94 endophytic fungi strains were isolated from tissues of C. acuminata and 16 fungi strains displayed cytotoxic activity on Vero or PC3 cells. Of which, the fungal strain S-019, classified as Fusarium solani, displayed impressive cytotoxic activity on cancer cells and was found to produce CPT by analysis of TLC, HPLC and EI-MS methods. Bioassay studies confirmed that the fungi CPT had potent cytotoxicity on Vero cells and induced apoptosis of Vero cells.

Conclusion: The endophytic fungi from camptotheca trees are a reliable source for natural anticancer compounds. The endophytic fungi could produce CPT same as plant. The fungal CPT exhibited effective activity at inhibiting cell growth and inducing apoptosis on Vero cells.

Keywords: Endophytic fungi, camptothecin, anti-tumor, Camptotheca acuminate
AJOL African Journals Online