2011 S. Ravichandran*#, S. Wahidullah**, L. DSouza**, R. Anbuchezhian*

#Phone 04144-243223; +919443909137; e-mail:

*Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai, 608502 India;
**National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, 403 004, Goa

Received April 13, 2010; in final form, January 31, 2011

Sponges are sessile filter feeders that have developed efficient defense mechanisms against foreign invaders such as viruses, bacteria or eukaryotic organisms. Antimicrobial peptides are known as major components of the innate immune defense system in marine invertebrates. The aim of the present work was to study the antimicrobial properties of the Indian sponge Clathria indica with special reference to the identification of antimicrobial peptides. Crude methanolic extract and its chloroform, n-butanol and aqueous fractions were tested against 16 human pathogens which include eleven bacteria with four of them being multidrug resistant and five pathogenic fungi. All fractions showed effective antibacterial activity against common and multidrug-resistant Salmonella typhi and antifungal activity against C. albicans and C. neoformans. However, they were ineffective against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. Chloroform fraction being the most potent among the fractions tested on chemical investigation was indicative of the presence of peptides as evidenced by ninhydrin positive spots on TLC and presence of peptide bonds by NMR. Its ESI-MS showed presence of several peptides in the range of m/z 850 to 980. Structure of three peptides has been tentatively assigned by ESI-MS/MS or tandem mass analysis, on the basis of the amino acid sequence established. The results clearly show that the sponge C. indica represent an interesting source of marine invertebrates-derived antimicrobial peptides in the development of new strategies to treat various infectious diseases.

Key words: marine sponge, Clathria indica, antimicrobial peptide, TLC, NMR, ESI-MS/MS.


After authors corrections in conformity with reviewers comments (remarks), the paper is published without any other editor's revision.

. 2011, 37 (4): 483-489