Anti-HIV activity of fucoidans from three brown seaweed species.
Fucoidans are sulfated polysaccharides derived from marine brown algae. In the current work the anti-HIV activity of three fucoidans, extracted from three brown seaweeds Sargassum mcclurei, Sargassum polycystum and Turbinara ornata and collected from Nha Trang bay, Vietnam was investigated. Fucoidans extracted from the three species displayed similar antiviral activities with a mean IC50 ranging from 0.33 to 0.7 mug/ml while displaying no cell toxicity. Our results showed that the anti-HIV activity of fucoidans is not primarily linked to the sulfate content and the appropriate position of sulfate groups in the fucoidan backbones was also not associated with the antiviral activity. Fucoidans inhibited HIV-1 infection when they were pre-incubated with the virus but not with the cells, and not after infection, blocking the early steps of HIV entry into target cells. These data contribute to a better understanding of the influence of fucoidans structural characteristics on their biological activity.