Purification and characterization of an antibacterial and antineoplastic protein secretion of a sea hare, Aplysia juliana

Toxicon. 1989;27(12):1269-77. doi: 10.1016/0041-0101(89)90058-5.


The fetid secretion of a sea hare, Aplysia juliana, was lethal to crabs and also inhibited the growth of bacteria. When the secretion was partitioned between water and n-hexane, only the n-hexane layer, which had a nauseating odor, was lethal to crabs. The water-soluble fraction showed strong antibacterial activity and inhibited the growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Antibacterial activity of the water-soluble fraction was destroyed by heating at 50 degrees C for 15 min, but was resistant to treatment with proteolytic enzymes. The active principle, named julianin-S, was purified by gel filtration and ion exchange chromatography. The purified specimen gave a single protein showing a mol. wt of approximately 67,000, as determined by gel filtration. Julianin-S inhibited the growth of Bacillus subtilis by 50% at a concentration of 70 ng protein/ml. It was also cytotoxic to murine tumor cells and inhibited in vitro growth of L1210 cells by 50% at a concentration of 8 ng protein/ml.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification*
  • Aplysia / analysis*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Biological Assay
  • Glycoproteins / isolation & purification*
  • Glycoproteins / pharmacology
  • Hot Temperature
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Molecular Weight
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • Trypsin


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Glycoproteins
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • Trypsin