Gut bacteria of Varanus salvator possess potential antitumour molecules

Morhanavallee Soopramanien, Naveed Ahmed Khan, Kuppusamy Sagathevan, Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Pollution, unhygienic conditions and organic waste are detrimental to human health. On the contrary, animals living in polluted environments, feeding on organic waste and exposed to noxious agents such as heavy metals must possess remarkable properties against contracting diseases. Species such as cockroaches and water monitor lizards thrive in unhygienic conditions and feed on decaying matter. Here, we investigated the antitumour properties of metabolites produced by gut bacteria isolated from Varanus salvator (Asian water monitor lizard). An adult water monitor lizard and a juvenile water monitor lizard were acquired, and dissected. Their aerobic gut bacteria were isolated and identificated through 16S rDNA sequencing. Next, bacterial conditioned media (CM) were prepared and utilised for subsequent assays. Growth inhibition, MTT 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide cell viability assay, cytotoxicity and cell survival assays were accomplished against a panel of cancer cells as well as a normal cell line. Furthermore, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was employed to identify potential antitumour molecules. A plethora of bacteria were isolated from the gut of juvenile and adult V. salvator respectively. Moreover, CM prepared from selected bacteria exhibited antitumour activity. Of note, LC-MS results indicated the presence of several molecules with reported antitumour activity, namely, 3-butylidene-7-hydroxyphthalide, C75, enigmol, estrone 16-oxime, proglumide and S-allyl-L-cysteine. Furthermore, 356 potentially novel molecules from juvenile V. salvator and 184 from adult V. salvator were depicted. Thus, the gut microbiota of V. salvator might be considered as a great niche of antitumour molecules; however, further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to assess the antitumour properties of these molecules.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47–56
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Microbiology
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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