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Special Issue "Connection of Marine Natural Products and Cell Apoptosis"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Esther A. Guzmán

Marine Biomedical and Biotechnology Research, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, Florida, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Immunology; Cancer; Signal Transduction; Cell Biology; Marine Natural Products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Programmed cell death was suspected to exist for many years, but was not fully described or called apoptosis until 1972, when Kerr, Wylie and Currie gave us the hallmarks to define this process. Since then, our focus was on understanding the signalling that directed this event, and what a carefully orchestrated event it turned out to be; with many signalling molecules that drive the process, many that regulate it and even others that stop it. This careful orchestration, along with the conservation of the pathway through species, highlights the importance of apoptosis to the well-being of a cell (and of an organism) from development to fighting off disease and infections. Apoptosis, though, is not alone. We now understand that in addition to apoptosis there are other forms of regulated cell death such as necroptosis, a regulated form of necrosis. There are related processes such as autophagy that along with apoptosis regulate cell fate. We also understand that apoptosis occurs beyond the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways with caspase independent forms of apoptosis existing. As our understanding of the molecular process of apoptosis continues to grow, small molecules that can act upon the signalling molecules of this pathway have an increased relevance. This Special Issue will focus on marine natural products that act upon apoptosis in all its forms: promoting it, regulating it, and preventing it. Marine natural products that act upon this pathway not only have therapeutic potential, but may help us further our understanding of the complex processes of cell death and how cell fate is determined.

As Guest Editor, I invite you to contribute to this Special Issue addressing the “Connection of Marine Natural Products and Cell Apoptosis”. Both original research reports and reviews will be published online in Marine Drugs.

Dr. Esther A. Guzmán
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • apoptosis
  • intrinsic pathway
  • extrinsic pathway
  • mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization
  • caspase cleavage
  • DNA fragmentation
  • anoikis
  • necroptosis
  • Bcl-2 (family)
  • X-IAP
  • death receptor
  • apoptosome
  • BH3-only proteins

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle MSP-4, an Antimicrobial Peptide, Induces Apoptosis via Activation of Extrinsic Fas/FasL- and Intrinsic Mitochondria-Mediated Pathways in One Osteosarcoma Cell Line
Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(1), 8; doi:10.3390/md16010008
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 12 December 2017 / Published: 2 January 2018
PDF Full-text (5355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Osteosarcoma (OS) is a common malignant bone cancer. The relatively high density of a person’s bone structure means low permeability for drugs, and so finding drugs that can be more effective is important and should not be delayed. MSPs are marine antimicrobial peptides
[...] Read more.
Osteosarcoma (OS) is a common malignant bone cancer. The relatively high density of a person’s bone structure means low permeability for drugs, and so finding drugs that can be more effective is important and should not be delayed. MSPs are marine antimicrobial peptides (AMP) and natural compounds extracted from Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). MSP-4 is a part of the AMPs series, with the advantage of having a molecular weight of about 2.7-kDa and anticancer effects, although the responsible anticancer mechanism is not very clear. The goal of this study is to determine the workings of the mechanism associated with apoptosis resulting from MSP-4 in osteosarcoma MG63 cells. The study showed that MSP-4 significantly induced apoptosis in MG63 cells, with Western blot indicating that MSP-4 induced this apoptosis through an intrinsic pathway and an extrinsic pathway. Thus, a pretreatment system with a particular inhibitor of Z-IETD-FMK (caspase-8 inhibitor) and Z-LEHD-FMK (caspase-9 inhibitor) significantly attenuated the cleavage of caspase-3 and prevented apoptosis. These observations indicate that low concentrations of MSP-4 can help induce the apoptosis of MG63 through a Fas/FasL- and mitochondria-mediated pathway and suggest a potentially innovative alternative to the treatment of human osteosarcoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Connection of Marine Natural Products and Cell Apoptosis)

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