Development of novel sophorolipids with improved cytotoxic activity toward MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.
Microtiter plates were used as minireactors to study Starmerella bombicola growth and sophorolipid (SL) production. Compositional analysis of SL mixtures by liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry showed similar results on SLs produced using the laboratory scale (shake flask) and the microscale (24-well microtiter plates (MTP)) approach. MTP suitability on SL production was proven, being this approach, especially advantageous on SL screening. Several hydrophilic carbon sources, hydrophobic co-substrates and nitrogen sources were supplied to culture media, and their influence on SL production was evaluated. The selection of specific hydrophobic co-substrate and nitrogen sources influenced the ratio acidic/lactonic SLs. In fact, it was observed that the production of acidic C18:1 diacetylated hydroxy fatty acid SLs was favoured when culture media was supplied with avocado, argan, sweet almond and jojoba oil or when NaNO3 was supplied instead of urea. This last case was observed after 144 h of cultivation. A new SL, lactonic C18:3 hydroxy fatty acid diacetylated SL, was detected when borage and onagra oils were used individually as co-substrates. Overall results indicated the potential of the selective production of different and new sophorolipids by Starmerella bombicola based on the selection of carbon and nitrogen sources to culture media.