Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Dairy Products Technology


Dairy Science


Rafael Jimenez-Flores


For the past 40 years, antiangiogenic approaches have been of major interest in the development of methods to cure and prevent cancer. Angiogenesis, the development of blood vessels from pre-existing vascularization, is essential for cancer growth and spread of metastasis through the delivery of nutrients and oxygen essential to sustain the metabolic activity of these malignant cells. Blocking access to blood will cause cancerous cells to assume a dormant state creating inactive micro-tumors innocuous to the host. Angiostatin, the internal fragment of the fibrinolytic zymogen plasminogen, has shown great potential in reducing cancer size and number of metastatic colonies in animal models. Owing to the success of these preliminary results angiostatin is currently on clinical trials. Plasminogen is known to be transferred from blood to milk during lactation. The objectives of this research were to: 1) investigate the ability of various proteases in cleaving plasminogen, both from human and bovine sources, and consequently release the angiostatin like fragment; 2) determine the anticancer activity of bovine angiostatin; 3) examine ability of the antiangiogenic fragment to survive digestion; 4) purify the fragment of interest through column chromatography. Production of angiostatin was tested through hydrolysis of plasminogen via Bacillus Polymyxa protease (or dispase I), elastase, lactic acid bacteria and Bacilli originated enzymes. Once proteases capable of angiostatin like peptide production were identified, and sequence analysis of the fragments obtained conducted to confirm that bovine angiostatin was indeed produced, ability of angiostatin, both human and bovine, in inhibiting malignant melanoma as well as colon cancer cells was evaluated in vitro. From the results obtained we can confirm that bovine angiostatin inhibitory activity on cancerous cells is similar to that observed for human angiostatin. Analysis of bovine angiostatin survival through in vitro human digestion model was also examined. Results show good possibility of angiostatin surviving digestion, even if confirmation of these results is required through further in vivo studies. Additionally, digestive enzymes such as trypsin and α-chymotrypsin showed ability in cleaving plasminogen directly to release a 25kDa fragment. Knowing that each kringle has some degree of anticancer activity it would be of interest to further study the possibility of angiostatin related fragments to be produced during milk digestion. Finally, affinity chromatography through L-lysine used to purify human angiostatin resulted to be an adequate method for bovine angiostatin purification. Preliminary results obtained from this study open a new area worth investigating to uncover the potential of using bovine angiostatin in the development of novel food products capable of cancer prevention.