Investigating the hepatoprotective potentiality of marine-derived steroids as promising inhibitors of liver fibrosis

Florbela Pereira, Mohamed A. Tammam, Omnia Aly, Mohamed Sebak, Yasser M. Diab, Aldoushy Mahdy, Amr El-Demerdash

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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It has been reported that organic extracts derived from soft corals belonging to the genus Sarcophyton have exhibited a wide range of therapeutic characteristics. Based on biochemical and histological techniques, we aimed to assess the hepatoprotective role of the organic extract and its principal steroidal contents derived from the Red Sea soft coral Sarcophyton glaucum on acetaminophen-induced liver fibrosis in rats. Serum liver function parameters (ALT, AST, ALP and total bilirubin) were quantified using a spectrophotometer, and both alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels were determined by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits while transformed growth factor beta (TGF-β) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in liver tissue homogenate were determined using ELISA, and TGF-β and TNF-α gene expression in liver tissue was determined using real-time PCR following extraction and purification. Histopathological alterations in hepatic tissue were also examined under a microscope. In order to prioritize the isolation and characterization of the most promising marine steroids from the organic extract of the Red Sea soft coral Sarcophyton glaucum as hepatoprotective agents, a computational approach was employed. This approach involved molecular docking (MDock) and analysis of the structure–activity relationship (SAR) against glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and Cu–Zn human superoxide dismutase (Cu–ZnSOD) enzymes. Although the major role in the detoxification of foreign chemicals and toxic metabolites of GST and SOD enzymes is known, there is a lack of knowledge about the mode of action of the hepatoprotective process and those of the targets involved. The present study investigated the multiple interactions of a series of marine steroids with the GST and SOD enzymes, in order to reveal insights into the process of hepatoprotection.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2023


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