In Silico Analysis of the Potential of the Active Compounds Fucoidan and Alginate Derived from Sargassum Sp. as Inhibitors of COX-1 and COX-2

Med Arch. 2016 Jun;70(3):172-6. doi: 10.5455/medarh.2016.70.172-176. Epub 2016 May 31.


Introduction: The enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) is an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of one of the mediators of inflammation, the prostaglandins. Inhibition of COX allegedly can improve inflammation-induced pathological conditions.

Aim: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the potential of Sargassum sp. components, Fucoidan and alginate, as COX inhibitors.

Material and methods: The study was conducted by means of a computational (in silico) method. It was performed in two main stages, the docking between COX-1 and COX-2 with Fucoidan, alginate and aspirin (for comparison) and the analysis of the amount of interactions formed and the residues directly involved in the process of interaction.

Results: Our results showed that both Fucoidan and alginate had an excellent potential as inhibitors of COX-1 and COX-2. Fucoidan had a better potential as an inhibitor of COX than alginate. COX inhibition was expected to provide a more favorable effect on inflammation-related pathological conditions.

Conclusion: The active compounds Fucoidan and alginate derived from Sargassum sp. were suspected to possess a good potential as inhibitors of COX-1 and COX-2.

Keywords: COX-1; COX-2; Fucoidan; Sargassum sp; alginate.

MeSH terms

  • Alginates / pharmacology*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Cyclooxygenase 1 / metabolism*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism*
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Glucuronic Acid / pharmacology
  • Hexuronic Acids / pharmacology
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Sargassum / chemistry*


  • Alginates
  • Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors
  • Hexuronic Acids
  • Polysaccharides
  • Glucuronic Acid
  • fucoidan
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS1 protein, human
  • PTGS2 protein, human