Due to its vast coastline, Brazil has great potential for obtaining natural products from marine organisms. In this context, algae are one of the main groups in terms of biodiversity. However, they are still little explored in the country. Out of a total of approximately 32,000 known seaweed species, at least 820 of the identified taxa are currently located on the Brazilian coast. Sao Paulo's seashore, throughout its 700 km long, houses a wide diversity of these organisms. Among the algae, Sargassum genus species have a high ecological potential and are widely found in coastal ecosystems. Many bioactive compounds have been isolated from various species of Sargassum with several biological activities, acting as analgesic, antioxidant, anticoagulant, anti-viral, and as anti-inflammatory. Among these compounds, we can mention protease inhibitors, which have countless biotechnological applications, including prevention and treatment of many diseases. Recently, we identified the presence of an inhibitor of the serine protease trypsin in aqueous extracts of Sargassum genus seaweeds. Therefore, the aim of this project is to purify, characterize and assess the cytotoxicity of the extracted inhibitor of these algae collected at Sao Paulo's coast.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: