Isolation and Purification of C-phycocyanin from Nostoc muscorum (Cyanophyceae and Cyanobacteria) Exhibits Antimalarial Activity In vitro


  • Pranay P. Pankaj Agricultural & Food Engineering Department, IIT, Kharagpur, India.
  • Ratanesh K. Seth National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR), Dwarka, New Delhi, India.
  • Nirupama Mallick Agricultural & Food Engineering Department, IIT, Kharagpur, India.
  • Sukla Biswas National Institute of Malaria Research (ICMR), Dwarka, New Delhi, India.


Plasmodium falciparum, Antimalarial activity, Nostoc muscorum, C-phycocyanin, In vitro culture


The phycobilin pigments are intensively fluorescent and water soluble. They are categorized into three types, such as pigments containing high, intermediate and low energies are phycoerythrins (phycoerythrocyanins), phycocyanins and allophycocyanins, respectively. Besides light harvesting, the phycobiliproteins have shown industrial and biomedical importance. Among them, C-phycocyanin (C-PC) has been considered to be the most preferred one. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the antimalarial activity of C-PC isolated from a nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium and Nostoc muscorum. C-PC was extracted and purified by acetone extraction and ammonium sulfate precipitation and dialysis followed by amicon filtration. It was isolated as a~124 kDa water soluble protein molecule. It showed antimalarial activity in vitro against chloroquine sensitive and resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains. Inhibitory concentrations at 50%, 90% and 95% were determined as 10.27±2.79, 53.53±6.26 and 73.78±6.92 µg/ml against the chloroquine-sensitive strains; 10.37±1.43, 56.99±11.07 and 72.79±8.59 µg/ml against chloroquine resistant of Plasmodium falciparum strains. C-PC was found to have antimalarial activity even at a concentration of 3.0µg/ml. The possible mechanism might be relied on the destruction of polymerization of haemozoin by binding of C-PC with ferriprotoporphyrin-IX at the water surface of the plasma membrane.


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Pankaj, P. P., Seth, R. K., Mallick, N., & Biswas, S. (2010). Isolation and Purification of C-phycocyanin from Nostoc muscorum (Cyanophyceae and Cyanobacteria) Exhibits Antimalarial Activity In vitro. Advances in BioScience, 1(2), 86–91. Retrieved from