Single-step purified R-phycoerythrin transmits cellular imaging functionalities in vitro

Malairaj Sathuvan, Ramar Thangam, Gopal Venkateshbabu, Kit Leong Cheong, Heemin Kang, Yang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


A single-step and rapid chromatographic method-based purification of Gracilaria corticata (J. Agardh) R-phycoerythrin (R-PE) was attained using polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) technique without affecting structural integrity. The purified R-PE had a characteristic UV–Vis spectrum with three absorbance maxima at 496, 535, and 565 nm, and fluorescence at 575 nm. R-PE was obtained with a purity index of 4.2 and a recovery yield of 44.3%. SDS-PAGE analysis exhibited three sub-units i.e., 18, 21, and 31 kDa, which corresponds to α, β, and γ, respectively. This report's purification process was considered less time-consuming and could be efficiently applied to purify phycobiliproteins. The purified R-PE showed optimal stability up to 6 h at pH 7.0 when exposed to light (3000 lx), while the temperature at which the maximum stability was retained was at 20 °C. The cellular imaging property of R-PE was effectively implemented to evaluate its credentials without affecting the cell proliferation of Vero and Hep-2 cell lines with the higher IC50 concentrations in vitro. Under fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry analysis, purified R-PE displayed the characteristic affinity towards cell imaging functions in preliminary in vitro studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-570
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are thankful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 21476135 ), the Educational Commission of Guangdong Province , China ( 2016KZDXM014 ), and the National Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province , China ( 2017A030307014 ) for the financial support. This work is also supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant ( 2021R1I1A1A01046207 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Gracilaria corticata
  • In vitro cell imaging
  • Phycobiliprotein
  • Physico-chemical properties
  • R-phycoerythrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry


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