Sudhir Kumar, Urmila Barros

Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals 2010 1(1):51-54

Marine algae are found in abundance along the shore of Goa, and have not been utilized. This is a report of hemagglutinins isolated from these marine algae. Phosphate-buffered saline extracts from six marine algae were tested for their agglutination activity using human blood cells by a slide assay. The extracts from four species revealed hemagglutinating activity against the tested human erythrocytes. However, the results obtained did not indicate specificity toward any particular human blood group. Further, one extract that showed good agglutination was processed for ammonium sulfate precipitation. The precipitated product was assayed for hemagglutination titer and sugar-binding specificity. The hemagglutination activity of the Sargassum cinnerium extract was observed to be specifically inhibited by one of the tested sugars. Because agglutination is a characteristic of “lectins,” the results obtained are indicative of these marine algae being a rich source of products/novel substances having biotechnological applications.