Hydrophilic extract from Posidonia oceanica inhibits activity and expression of gelatinases and prevents HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cell line invasion

Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile is an endemic Mediterranean sea-grass distributed in the infralittoral zones, where it forms meadows playing a recognized ecological role in the coastal marine habitat. Although its use as a traditional herbal remedy is poorly documented, recent literature reports interesting pharmacological activities as antidiabetic, antioxidant and vasoprotective. Differently from previous literature, this study presents a hydrophilic extraction method that recovers metabolites that may be tested in biological buffers. We showed for the first time in the highly invasive HT1080 human fibrosarcoma cell line that our hydrophilic extract from P. oceanica was able to strongly decrease gene and protein expression of gelatinases MMP-2 and MMP-9 and to directly inhibit in a dose-dependent manner gelatinolytic activity in vitro. Moreover, we have revealed that our extract strongly inhibited HT1080 cell migration and invasion. Biochemical analysis of the hydrophilic extract showed that catechins were the major constituents with minor contribution of gallic acid, ferulic acid and chlorogenic plus a fraction of uncharacterized phenols. However, if each individual compound was tested independently, none by itself was able to induce a direct inhibition of gelatinases as strong as that observed in total extract, opening up new routes to the identification of novel compounds. These results indicate that our hydrophilic extract from P. oceanica might be a source of new pharmacological natural products for treatment or prevention of several diseases related to an altered MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression.