Mar. Drugs2016, 14(8), 142; doi:10.3390/md14080142 (registering DOI) - published 27 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Sinularin is an active compound isolated from the cultured soft coral Sinularia flexibilis. In this study, we investigated the effects of sinularin on two human gastric cancer cell lines, AGS and NCI-N87. Our results demonstrated that sinularin suppressed the proliferation of gastric cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner and induced apoptosis. In addition, the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, the release of cytochrome C, the activation of Bax, Bad and caspase-3/9, and the suppression of p-Bad, Bcl-xL and Bcl-2 were observed in the cells treated with sinularin. This finding suggests that sinularin-induced apoptosis is associated with mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and occurs through caspase-dependent pathways. Furthermore, sinularin inhibited the phosphoinositol 3-kinase/Akt/mechanistic target of the rapamycin signaling pathway. Taken together, our results show that sinularin-induced apoptosis is mediated by activation of the caspase cascade and mitochondrial dysfunction. Our findings suggest that sinularin merits further evaluation as a chemotherapeutic agent for human gastric cancer.
Mar. Drugs2016, 14(8), 141; doi:10.3390/md14080141 - published 26 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Neutrophils are widely recognized to play an important role in acute inflammatory responses, and recent evidence has expanded their role to modulating chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and microbicidal compounds released from neutrophils that are recruited to the site of inflammation contribute to the pathogenesis of multiple inflammation-associated diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, atherosclerosis, and hepatitis. Marine organisms are a valuable source of bioactive compounds with potential for industrial and pharmaceutical application. Marine natural products that inhibit neutrophil activation could be used as drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Numerous studies investigating marine natural products have reported novel anti-inflammatory agents. Nevertheless, the detailed mechanisms underlying their actions, which could facilitate our understanding of the molecular events occurring in neutrophils, have not been reported in most of the associated research studies. Therefore, in this review, we will present marine products that inhibit neutrophil-associated inflammation. Furthermore, we will be limiting the detailed discussion to agents with well-investigated molecular targets.
Mar. Drugs2016, 14(8), 139; doi:10.3390/md14080139 - published 23 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A comprehensive review on the chemistry of Spongia sp. is here presented, together with the biological activity of the isolated compounds. The compounds are grouped in sesquiterpene quinones, diterpenes, C21 and other linear furanoterpenes, sesterterpenes, sterols (including secosterols), macrolides and miscellaneous compounds. Among other reports we include studies on the intraspecific diversity of a Mediterranean species, compounds isolated from associated sponge and nudibranch and compounds isolated from S. zimocca and the red seaweed Laurentia microcladia. Under biological activity a table of the reported biological activities of the various compounds and the biological screening of extracts are described. The present review covers the literature from 1971 to 2015.
Mar. Drugs2016, 14(8), 43; doi:10.3390/md14080043 - published 23 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: An increasing interest has recently been shown to use chitin/chitosan oligomers (chito-oligomers) in medicine and food fields because they are not only water-soluble, nontoxic, and biocompatible materials, but they also exhibit numerous biological properties, including antibacterial, antifungal, and antitumor activities, as well as immuno-enhancing effects on animals. Conventional depolymerization methods of chitosan to chito-oligomers are either chemical by acid-hydrolysis under harsh conditions or by enzymatic degradation. In this work, hydrolysis of chitosan to chito-oligomers has been achieved by applying adsorption-separation technique using diluted HCl in the presence of different types of zeolite as adsorbents. The chito-oligomers were retrieved from adsorbents and characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), liquid chromatography/mass spectroscopy (LC/MS), and ninhydrin test.
Mar. Drugs2016, 14(7), 137; doi:10.3390/md14070137 - published 21 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Filamentous fungi are well known for their capability of producing antibiotic natural products. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential of antimicrobials with vast chemodiversity from marine fungi. Development of such natural products into lead compounds requires sustainable supply. Marine biotechnology can significantly contribute to the production of new antibiotics at various levels of the process chain including discovery, production, downstream processing, and lead development. However, the number of biotechnological processes described for large-scale production from marine fungi is far from the sum of the newly-discovered natural antibiotics. Methods and technologies applied in marine fungal biotechnology largely derive from analogous terrestrial processes and rarely reflect the specific demands of the marine fungi. The current developments in metabolic engineering and marine microbiology are not yet transferred into processes, but offer numerous options for improvement of production processes and establishment of new process chains. This review summarises the current state in biotechnological production of marine fungal antibiotics and points out the enormous potential of biotechnology in all stages of the discovery-to-development pipeline. At the same time, the literature survey reveals that more biotechnology transfer and method developments are needed for a sustainable and innovative production of marine fungal antibiotics.
Mar. Drugs2016, 14(7), 138; doi:10.3390/md14070138 - published 21 July 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The marine environment represents a very rich source of biologically active compounds with pharmacological applications. This is due to its chemical richness, which is claiming considerable attention from the health science communities. In this review we give a general overview on the marine natural products involved in stimulation and inhibition of autophagy (a type of programmed cell death) linked to pharmacological and pathological conditions. Autophagy represents a complex multistep cellular process, wherein a double membrane vesicle (the autophagosome) captures organelles and proteins and delivers them to the lysosome. This natural and destructive mechanism allows the cells to degrade and recycle its cellular components, such as amino acids, monosaccharides, and lipids. Autophagy is an important mechanism used by cells to clear pathogenic organism and deal with stresses. Therefore, it has also been implicated in several diseases, predominantly in cancer. In fact, pharmacological stimulation or inhibition of autophagy have been proposed as approaches to develop new therapeutic treatments of cancers. In conclusion, this blue-print autophagy (so defined because it is induced and/or inhibited by marine natural products) represents a new strategy for the future of biomedicine and of biotechnology in cancer treatment.