Antioxidant potential of mulberry and non-mulberry silk sericin and its implications in biomedicine

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Abstract

Sericin, a principal constituent of silk, is widely used in various biomedical applications. In addition, conferring protection against free radicals and oxidative damage add more value to its therapeutic potential. However, the antioxidant (AO) properties of silk sericin (SS) remains contingent on extraction procedures. In the present study, we have evaluated the effect of different extraction methods (conventional, autoclaving, urea, alkali and acid-degradation) on AO properties of SS from three Indian silk varieties [Antheraea assamensis (AA), Philosamia ricini (PR) and Bombyx mori (BM)]. The physico-chemical characterization studies revealed that the molecular weight of SS isolates of each method ranged from 10 to 220 kDa along with varied protein structural biochemistry. SS extracts using urea-degradation (BM, PR and AA), conventional method and alkali-degradation (BM) displayed high percentage of β-sheets, random coils and turns. Acid-degraded SS (PR, followed by AA and BM) showed the highest total flavonoid content while conventional method (PR), autoclaving (AA) and alkali-degradation (BM) displayed lowest flavonoid levels. Interestingly, SS extracted by autoclaving (BM and AA), acid-degradation (PR), conventional and alkali-degradation (BM, AA and PR) methods exhibited 50% reduction of 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical. Moreover, the efficacy of antioxidant potential of SS extracted by different methods was found to be in the order of “alkali>autoclaving>conventional” as demonstrated in L929 cells. Correspondingly, the anti-lipid peroxidation activity of SS extracted by alkali method (AA, BM and PR) further confirmed better AO properties amid others. Thus, the present study demonstrates that the extraction methods may significantly affect AO activity of SS which might be of importance for potential cosmetic applications.

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