Antifungal and anticancer effects of a polysaccharide–protein complex from the gut bacterium Raoultella ornithinolytica isolated from the earthworm Dendrobaena veneta

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The polysaccharide–protein complex (PPC) isolated from metabolites of gut bacteria Raoultella ornithinolytica from Dendrobaena veneta earthworms exhibits activity against Candida albicans , in breast ductal carcinoma (line T47D) and in the endometrioid ovarian cancer line (TOV-112D) in vitro . The action against C. albicans was analyzed using light, SEM, TEM, and AFM microscopes. The changes observed indicated two directions of the action of the complex, that is, disturbance of metabolic activity and cell wall damage. The PPC is an adhesion-promoting complex inducing death of C. albicans cells by necrosis. Owing to its significant effect on C. albicans , the complex is a promising source of antifungal compounds. The PPC showed a minimal cytotoxic effect against human skin fibroblasts; however, the cytotoxicity against the T47D line was determined at 20% and 15% against the TOV-112D line. The action of the PPC against the T47D line exerted a cytopathic effect, whereas in the TOV-112D line, it caused a reduction in the cell number. The PPC induced death of tumor cells by apoptosis and necrosis. In view of the negligible cytotoxicity on fibroblasts, the PPC will be subjected to chemical modifications to increase its antitumor activity for prospective medical applications.

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