Chemical and biological characterization of a crude venom extract from the sea anemone-Bunodosoma cavernata

  • AE Eno
  • RS Konya
  • OE Ofem
  • EI Itam


Background: Sea-anemones, in common with other members of the phylum cnidaria (coelenterate) possess numerous tentacles containing specialized stinging cells of cnidocysts. Our main objective is to elucidate the chemical character and biological properties of this Nigerian species of sea anemone Bunodosoma cavernata with a view to providing investigators a scientific basis for future research. Methods: The Nigerian species of sea anemone-Bunodosoma cavernata were collected at Opuaduakiri fishing port in Bonny town, Rivers State, Nigeria. The animal extract was prepared according to standard procedure. The protein content of the extract and percentage protein in the whole animal were also estimated following standard methods. Other biochemical constituents of the animal estimated were the total lipids, carbohydrate, moisture and the mineral content. The stability of the extract and an arbitrary unit of biological activity of the extract were also determined. Results: From the results, the protein content of the crude extract was 0.5 mg protein/ml for a 10-fold diluted extract, while the percentage total protein was about 39.4%. The percentage lipid was about 14.9% while carbohydrate was probably absent. The moisture content was about 95.7% with about 3.4% mineral content. The extracts prepared from fresh animals showed the highest activity or potency while the freeze-dried extract lost their potency after about 6 months storage. The result showed that the bulk of the animal was water with very low mineral content. On the biochemical constituents, protein level was the highest and the animal was probably devoid of carbohydrates. Conclusion: We conclude that the anemone (B. cavernata) extract is probably highly toxic and it is very likely that the difficulty in storage which resulted in loss of its biological activities was due to the proteinaeceous nature of the animal.

Keywords: Sea anemone, Biochemical constituents, Stability, Extracts

Port Harcourt Medical Journal Vol. 3 (1) 2008: pp. 15-26

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eISSN: 0795-3038