Project's information

Project's title Sulfated polysaccharides of the Vietnamese echinoderms: Chemical structures and biological activities
Project’s code QTRU01.07/21-22
Research hosting institution Nha Trang Institute of Technology Research and Application
Coordinating unit, co-chair The Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)
Project leader’s name Dr. Cao Thi Thuy Hang and Nikolay E Nifantiev
Project duration 01/05/2021 - 31/05/2023
Project’s budget 200 million VND
Classify Excellent
Goal and objectives of the project

The objectives of the project were:
+ To isolate sulfated polysaccharides from two species of sea cucumbers belonging to the genus Holothuria and Tripneustes found in Vietnam sea.
+ To evaluate the biological activities (anticoagulant and antithrombotic) of the obtained poly-oligosaccharides.

Main results

The results obtained samples of sulfate polysaccharides from 08 species of echinoderms, including 06 species of sea cucumbers and 02 species of sea urchins collected in Khanh Hoa Sea. The study successfully extracted polysaccharide sulfate compounds from these collected organisms. Among them, the two sea cucumber species, Holothuria spinifera and Bohadschia argus, were further purified using ion exchange chromatography. The chemical composition and structure of the isolated segments were established. Sulfate polysaccharides from sea cucumbers have two structural forms, namely FCS (Fucosylated chondroitin sulfates) and FS (fucan sulfate). Both FCS showed significant anticoagulant activity in blood clotting time experiments and enhanced thrombin inhibition, but had no effect on factor Xa. This structure was confirmed by NMR spectra of sulfate-free polysaccharides. Despite a significant sulfate concentration, FS-BA-AT, in fact, showed no anticoagulant activity.

Novelty and actuality and scientific meaningfulness of the results

The results of the research project have successfully identified the structural characteristics and anticoagulant activity of the polysaccharide compounds extracted from the sea cucumbers Holothuria spinifera and Bohadschia argus. The samples with the most potent activity have the potential for the development of anticoagulant and antithrombotic drugs. 

Products of the project

- Publications:
Nadezhda E Ustyuzhanina, Maria I Bilan, Andrey S Dmitrenok, Eugenia A Tsvetkova, Sofya P Nikogosova, Cao Thi Thuy Hang, Pham Duc Thinh, Dinh Thanh Trung, Tran Thi Thanh Van, Alexander S Shashkov, Anatolii I Usov, Nikolay E Nifantiev (2022). Fucose-Rich Sulfated Polysaccharides from Two Vietnamese Sea Cucumbers Bohadschia argus and Holothuria (Theelothuria) spinifera: Structures and Anticoagulant Activity, Mar. Drugs  20(6), 380;
- A copy of the decision recognizing the title of the Master's thesis and the thesis supervisor, Dr. Pham Duc Thinh – main member of the project.

With close collaboration with our partner institution, the mission has successfully completed all the proposed research contents in Vietnam, achieving the objectives and delivering the registered product forms. The scientists from the N.D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry - Russian Academy of Sciences are world-leading researchers in the field of marine polysaccharide studies and their biological activities, thus opening up potential applications in the medical field. Therefore, close cooperation with Russian scientists is highly advantageous for implementing this new research direction in our country. The research results of the project not only generate new scientific and technological data but also contribute to enhancing the professional qualifications of scientists in exploring emerging issues in marine science and technology.
Based on the results obtained from the research, we propose several research directions for further exploration of polysaccharides from marine sources:
1. Optimization of Sulfate Polysaccharide Extraction Process: Further research can focus on optimizing the extraction process of sulfate polysaccharides with strong anticoagulant activity to achieve high yield. This optimization can pave the way for potential applications in functional foods and pharmaceuticals.
2. Application of Sea Cucumber Polysaccharides (PS) Products: Investigate the practical applications of PS derived from sea cucumbers to develop commercial products in the fields of functional foods and pharmaceuticals. This could involve developing supplements or medications with anticoagulant properties.
3. Expansion of Research Targets: Expand the scope of research to include other echinoderm species such as starfish and sea spiders. This broader approach can provide a more comprehensive understanding of the diversity of polysaccharides in marine organisms and their potential applications.
These research directions not only offer opportunities to further explore the properties and applications of marine-derived polysaccharides but also have the potential to contribute to advancements in functional food and pharmaceutical industries.
Images of project