Anticancer activity of cow, sheep, goat, mare, donkey and camel milks and their caseins and whey proteins and in silico comparison of the caseins

Document Type: Original article


Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Advanced Sciences and Technologies, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


The present investigation was carried out to evaluate anticancer activity of cow, goat, sheep, mare, donkey and camel milks and their casein and whey proteins against MCF7 cell line. The structure-based properties of the casein proteins were also investigated, using bioinformatics tools to find explanation for their antitumor activities. The effect of different milks and their casein and whey proteins on MCF7 proliferation was measured using MTT assay at different concentrations (0.5, 1 and 2 mg/ml). The results showed that mare, donkey, cow and camel milks and their casein and whey proteins have potent cytotoxic activity against MCF7 cells in a dose dependent manner while sheep and goat milks and their proteins did not reveal any cytotoxic activity. The in silico results demonstrated that mare, donkey and camel caseins had highest positive and negative charges. The secondary structure prediction indicated that mare and donkey caseins had the maximum percentage of α helix and camel casein had the highest percentage of extended strand. This study suggests that there is a striking correlation between anti-cancer activity of milk caseins and their physicochemical properties such as alpha helix structure and positive and negative charges. In conclusion, the results indicated that mare, camel and donkey milks might be good candidates against breast cancer cells.


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