The Biotechnological and Seafood Potential of Stichopus regalis


Sea cucumbers are highly used not only for the production of the bêche-de-mer, but also recent studies have been showing the high potential of these marine invertebrates on the pharmaceutical industry, as they are rich in bioactive compounds with important functions. Stichopus regalis extracts (1 mg·mL-1) were used in antioxidant, antimicrobial and antitumor assays. The lipid profile was also evaluated. No significant antioxidant activity was detected in both methanolic and dichloromethane extracts. The methanolic fraction showed the highest antimicrobial potential against Candida albicans with an IC50 of 475.4 μg·mL-1. In the antitumor assays, the dichloromethane fraction showed a high potential for both cell lines, as revealed by the MTT method. The total fat content was 3.63% ± 0.11% and the fatty acid profile revealed the highest amount in C16:0 (9.43% ± 0.77%), C18:0 (12.43% ± 0.83%), C18:1 ω7 (5.63% ± 0.33%), EPA (12.49% ± 0.15%), DHA (7.35% ± 0.02%), ARA (19.29% ± 0.14%) and a ω3/ω6 ratio of 1.078. These findings led us to suggest the potential use of S. regalis as a new source of bioactive compounds with pharmacological potential and its nutritional benefits for human health.

Share and Cite:

Santos, R. , Dias, S. , Pinteus, S. , Silva, J. , Alves, C. , Tecelão, C. , Pombo, A. and Pedrosa, R. (2015) The Biotechnological and Seafood Potential of Stichopus regalis. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 6, 194-204. doi: 10.4236/abb.2015.63019.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Chen, J. (2004) Present Status and Prospects of Sea Cucumber Industry in China. In: Lovatelli, A., Conand, C., Purcell, S., Uthicke, S., Hamel, J.-F. and Mercier, A., Eds., Advances in Sea Cucumber Aquaculture and Management, FAO, Rome, Fisheries Technical Paper, 25-38.
[2] Hamel, J.-F., Conand, C., Pawson, D.L. and Mercier, A. (2001) The Sea Cucumber Holothuria scabra (Holothuroidea, Echinodermata): Its Biology and Exploitation as bêche-de-mer. Advances in Marine Biology, 41, 131-202.
[3] Conand, C. (2004) Present Status of World Sea Cucumber Resources and Utilization: As International Overview. In: Lovatelli, A., Conand, C., Purcell, S., Uthicke, S., Hamel, J.-F. and Mercier, A., Eds., Advances in Sea Cucumber Aquaculture and Management, FAO, Rome, Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper, 13-24.
[4] Tian, F., Zhang, X., Tong, Y., Yi, Y., Zhang, S., Li, L., Sun, P., Lin, L. and Ding, J. (2005) PE, a New Sulfated Saponin from Sea Cucumber, Exhibits Anti-Angiogenic and Anti-Tumor Activities in Vitro and in Vivo. Cancer Biology and Therapy, 4, 874-882.
[5] Bordbar, S., Anwar, F. and Saari, N. (2011) High-Value Components and Bioactives from Sea Cucumbers for Functional Foods—A Review. Marine Drugs, 9, 1761-1805.
[6] Chen, S., Xue, C., Yin, L., Tang, Q., Yu, G. and Chai, W. (2011) Comparison of Structures and Anticoagulant Activities of Fucosylated Chondroitin Sulfates from Different Sea Cucumbers. Carbohydrates Polymers, 83, 688-696.
[7] Aydin, M., Sevgili, H., Tufan, B., Emre, Y. and Kose, S. (2011) Proximate Composition and Fatty Acid Profile of Three Different Fresh and Dried Commercial Sea Cucumbers from Turkey. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 46, 500-508.
[8] Chludil, H.D., Muniain, C.C., Selder, A.M. and Maier, M.S. (2002) Cytotoxic and Antifungal Triterpene Glycosides from the Pantagonian Sea Cucumber, Hemoiedema spectabilis. Journal of Natural Products, 65, 860-865.
[9] Hing, H.L., Kaswandi, M.A., Azraul-Mumtazah, R., Hamidah, S.A., Shalan, A.Z., Normalawati, S., Samsudin, M.W. and Ridzwan, B.H. (2007) Effect of Methanol Extracts from Sea Cucumber Holothuria edulis and Stichopus chloronotus on Candida albicans. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 13, 37-54.
[10] Zhong, Y., Khan, M.A. and Shahidi, F. (2007) Compositional Characteristics and Antioxidant Properties of Fresh and Processed Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55, 1188-1192.
[11] Sarker, S.D., Latif, Z. and Gray, A. (2006) I. Natural Product Isolation. Methods in Biotechnology. 2nd Edition, Human Press, New Jersey, 202-225.
[12] Ramón, M., Lleonart, J. and Massutí, E. (2010) Royal Cucumber (Stichopus regalis) in the Northwestern Mediterranean: Distribution Pattern and Fishery. Fisheries Research, 105, 21-27.
[13] Vannuccini, S. (2004) Sea Cucumbers: A Compendium of Fishery Statistics. In: Lovatelli, A., Conand, C., Purcell, S., Uthicke, S., Hamel, J.F. and Mercier, A., Eds., Advances in Sea Cucumber Aquaculture and Management, FAO, Rome, Fisheries Technical Paper, 339-345.
[14] Mayachiew, P. and Devahastin, S. (2008) Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Indian Gooseberry and Galangal Extracts. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 41, 1153-1159.
[15] Yu, L., Haley, S., Perret, J.M., Harris, M., Wilson, J. and Qian, M. (2002) Free Radical Scavenging Properties of Wheat Extracts. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 50, 1619-1624.
[16] Duan, X.J., Zhang, W.W., Li, X.M. and Wang, B.G. (2006) Evaluation of Antioxidant Property of Extract and Fraction from Red Algae, Polysiphonia urceolata. Food Chemistry, 95, 37-43.
[17] Dávalos, A., Gómez-Cordovés, C. and Bartolome, B. (2004) Extending Applicability of the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC-Fluorescein) Assay. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 52, 48-54.
[18] Pedrosa, R. and Soares-da-Silva, P. (2002) Oxidative and Non-Oxidative Mechanisms of Neuronal Cell Death and Apoptosis by l-3.4-Dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) and Dopamine. British Journal of Pharmacology, 137, 1305-1313.
[19] Yuan, Y.V. and Walsh, N.A. (2006) Antioxidant and Antiproliferative Activities of Extracts from a Variety of Edible Seaweeds. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 44, 1144-1150.
[20] Bligh, E.G. and Dyer, W.J. (1959) A Rapid Method for Total Lipid Extraction and Purification. Canadian Journal of Biochemistry and Physiology, 37, 911-917.
[21] Lepage, G. and Roy, C. (1986) Direct Transesterification of All Classes of Lipids in a One-Step Reaction. Journal of Lipid Research, 27, 114-120.
[22] Zar, J.H. (2009) Biostatistical Analysis. 5th Edition, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.
[23] Kumar, R., Chaturvedi, A.K., Shukla, P.K. and Lakshmi, V. (2007) Antifungal Activity in Triterpene Glycosides from the Sea Cucumber Actinopyga lecanora. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 17, 4387-4391.
[24] Careaga, V.P., Munian, C. and Maier, M.S. (2011) Patagonicosides B and C, Two Antifungal Sulphated Triterpene Glycosides from the Sea Cucumber Psolus patagonicus. Chemistry and Biodiversity, 8, 467-475.
[25] Ismail, H., Lemriss, S., Ben Aoun, Z., Mhadhebi, L., Dellai, A., Kacem, Y., Boirom, P. and Bouraoui, A. (2008) Antifungal Activity of Aqueous and Methanolic Extracts from the Mediterranean Sea Cucumber, Holothuria polii. Journal of Medical Mycology, 18, 23-26.
[26] Kamesaki, H. (1998) Mechanism Involved in Chemotherapy-Induced Apoptosis and Their Implications in Cancer Chemotherapy. International Journal of Hematology, 68, 29-43.
[27] Heo, S.J., Kim, K.N., Yoon, W.J., Oh, C., Choi, Y.U., Affan, A., et al. (2011) Chromene Induces Apoptosis via Caspase-3 Activation in Human Leukemia HL-60 Cells. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 49, 1998-2004.
[28] Kang, S.M., Kim, A.D., Heo, S.J., Kim, K.N., Lee, S.H., Ko, S.C. and Jeon, Y.J. (2012) Induction of Apoptosis by Diphlorethohydroxycarmalol Isolated from Brown Alga, Ishige okamrae. Journal of Functional Foods, 4, 433-439.
[29] Ren, G., Zhao, Y.P., Yang, L. and Fu, C.X. (2008) Anti-Proliferative Effect of Clitocine from the Mushroom Leucopaxillus giganteus on Human Cervical Cancer HeLa Cells by Inducing Apoptosis. Cancer Letters, 262, 190-200.
[30] Rodriguez, J., Castro, R. and Riguera, R. (1991) Holothurinosides: New Antitumor Non Sulphated Triterpene Glycosides from the Sea Cucumber Holothuria forskali. Tetrahedron, 47, 4753-4762.
[31] Rees, D., Miles, E.A., Banerjee, T., Wells, S.J., Roynette, C.E., Wahle, K.W. and Calder, P.C. (2006) Dose-Related Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid on Innate Immune Function in Healthy Humans: A Comparison of Young and Older Men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83, 331-342.
[32] Miles, E.A. and Calder, P.C. (2012) Influence of Marine n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Immune Function and a Systematic Review of Their Effects on Clinical Outcomes in Rheumatoid Arthritis. British Journal of Nutrition, 107, S171-S184.
[33] Ruxton, C.H.S., Calder, P.C., Reed, S.C. and Simpson, M.J.A. (2005) The Impact of Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Human Health. Nutrition Research Reviews, 18, 113-129.
[34] Gil, A. (2002) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Inflammatory Disease. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 56, 388-396.
[35] Chang-Lee, M.V., Price, R.J. and Lampila, L.E. (1989) Effect of Processing on Proximate Composition and Mineral Content of Sea Cucumbers (Parastichopus spp.). Journal of Food Science, 54, 567-568.
[36] Wen, J., Hu, C. and Fan, S. (2010) Chemical Com-position and Nutritional Quality of Sea Cucumbers. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 90, 2469-2474.
[37] Ackman, R.G. (1989) Marine Biogenic Lipids, Fats and Oils. Vol. II, CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, 90-91.
[38] Valentine, R.C. and Valentine, D.L. (2010) Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the DHA Principle. CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, 69-92.
[39] Drazen, J.C., Phleger, C.F., Guest, M.A. and Nichols, P.D. (2008) Lipid, Sterols and Fatty Acid Composition of Abyssal Holothurians and Ophiuroids from the North-East Pacific Ocean: Food Web Implications. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B, 151, 79-87.
[40] Carlson, S.E. and Neuringer, M. (1999) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Status and Neurodevelopment: A Summary and Critical Analysis of the Literature. Lipids, 34, 171-178.
[41] Betchel, P.J., Oliveira, A.C., Demir, N. and Smiley, S. (2012) Chemical Composition of the Giant Red Sea Cucumber, Parastichopus calicornicus, Commercially Harvested in Alaska. Food Science and Nutrition, 1, 63-73.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.