FIGURE 11.3 Structures of phosphatidyl inositol, cerebroside, and cholesterol.

The antiviral activity of water soluble extracts of Spirulina can also be explained by the combined action of Ca-SP and Immulina.


The three main kinds of membrane lipids are phospholipids (like phosphatidyl inositol), glycolipids (like cerebroside), and cholesterol (Figure 11.3). Cholesterol is present in all animal membranes, but absent in prokaryotes. Sulfoglycolipids, as the name implies, consist of three distinct moieties: a backbone lipid, a carbohydrate, and a sulfate moiety. An example of a sulfoglycolipid is presented by 2-palmitoyl-3-hydroxyphthioceranoyl-2'-sulfate-a - a'-D-trealose (Ac2SGL) (Figure 11.4), which was isolated as mycobacterial antigen from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.40 In vitro studies have revealed that sulfoglycolipids isolated from Spirulina exhibit strong antiviral properties. Helper T-cells exposed to sulfoglycolipids isolated from blue-green algae were protected from HIV infection.8 The chemical structure of the sulfoglycolipids from Spirulina remains unknown.

Antiviral Proteins Allophycocianin

The allophycocyanin is a red fluorescent protein, isolated from S. platensis. This antiviral-protein is a member of the phycobiliprotein family, and can be found in blue-green alga, red alga, and cryptomonadas. It has a molecular weight of 104,000 Da

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