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Special Issue "Marine Drugs as Antitumour Agents"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2010)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Mark Searcey (Website)

School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, UK
Fax: +44 01603 592003
Interests: natural products in medicinal chemistry; higher order nucleic acid structures; new targets for cancer research and protein-protein interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The recent introduction to the clinic of trabectedin (Et-743) as a treatment for soft tissue sarcoma highlights the potential of marine drugs as novel antitumour agents. There is a huge and largely untapped array of small molecules in the depths of the ocean, produced by novel organisms that are only now being discovered. Other compounds that have captured the imagination include the dolastatins, bryostatins, kahalalides, didemnins, halchondrins, lamellarins and thiocaroline. The structurally diversity among this compounds is immense, from cyclic and linear peptides to products of the polyketide and alkaloid biosyntehsis pathways. There are diterpenes, pyrrole alkaloids, depsipeptides, macrolides and steroids. The targets for these natural products show a similar array of diversity, from tubulin inhibitors to other protein targets such as caspases and cyclin dependent kinases. The isolation and identification of new marine natural products with antitumour activity with be a key feature of this special issue of Marine Drugs. However, as with all natural products, these compounds were not produced in nature to act as antitumour agents, and while it may seem arrogant to suggest that we can improve on nature, this is where total synthesis and studies of structure activity relationships come into their own. The total synthesis of new natural products is clearly still of great important in the elucidation and confirmation of structure and absolute stereochemistry. But it also can contribute to our understanding of the mechanism of action of the natural product as an antitumour agent and can contribute to the design of analogues with enhanced activity. The second focus of this special issue of Marine Drugs will be on the synthesis and study of the mode of action of antitumour agents derived from the Sea.

Dr. Mark Searcey
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • antitumour agents
  • marine compounds
  • total synthesis
  • structure-activity relationships
  • medicinal chemistry
  • biological activity

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Marine Benthic Cyanobacteria Contain Apoptosis-Inducing Activity Synergizing with Daunorubicin to Kill Leukemia Cells, but not Cardiomyocytes
Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(10), 2659-2672; doi:10.3390/md8102659
Received: 31 August 2010 / Revised: 6 October 2010 / Accepted: 12 October 2010 / Published: 14 October 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (307 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The potential of marine benthic cyanobacteria as a source of anticancer drug candidates was assessed in a screen for induction of cell death (apoptosis) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Of the 41 marine cyanobacterial strains screened, more than half contained cell [...] Read more.
The potential of marine benthic cyanobacteria as a source of anticancer drug candidates was assessed in a screen for induction of cell death (apoptosis) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Of the 41 marine cyanobacterial strains screened, more than half contained cell death-inducing activity. Several strains contained activity against AML cells, but not against non-malignant cells like hepatocytes and cardiomyoblasts. The apoptotic cell death induced by the various strains could be distinguished by the role of caspase activation and sensitivity to the recently detected chemotherapy-resistance-associated prosurvival protein LEDGF/p75. One strain (M44) was particularly promising since its activity counteracted the protective effect of LEDGF/p75 overexpressed in AML cells, acted synergistically with the anthracycline anticancer drug daunorubicin in AML cells, and protected cardiomyoblasts against the toxic effect of anthracyclines. We conclude that culturable benthic marine cyanobacteria from temperate environments provide a promising and hitherto underexploited source for novel antileukemic drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Drugs as Antitumour Agents)
Open AccessArticle Preclinical Pharmacology of BA-TPQ, a Novel Synthetic Iminoquinone Anticancer Agent
Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(7), 2129-2141; doi:10.3390/md8072129
Received: 8 May 2010 / Revised: 11 June 2010 / Accepted: 8 July 2010 / Published: 13 July 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Marine natural products and their synthetic derivatives represent a major source of novel candidate anti-cancer compounds. We have recently tested the anti-cancer activity of more than forty novel compounds based on an iminoquinone makaluvamine scaffold, and have found that many of the [...] Read more.
Marine natural products and their synthetic derivatives represent a major source of novel candidate anti-cancer compounds. We have recently tested the anti-cancer activity of more than forty novel compounds based on an iminoquinone makaluvamine scaffold, and have found that many of the compounds exert potent cytotoxic activity against human cancer cell lines. One of the most potent compounds, BA-TPQ [(11,12),7-(benzylamino)-1,3,4,8-tetrahydropyrrolo[4,3,2-de]quinolin-8(1H)-one], was active against a variety of human cancer cell lines, and inhibited the growth of breast and prostate xenograft tumors in mice. However, there was some toxicity noted in the mice following administration of the compound. In order to further the development of BA-TPQ, and in a search for potential sites of accumulation that might underlie the observed toxicity of the compound, we accomplished preclinical pharmacological studies of the compound. We herein report the in vitro and in vivo pharmacological properties of BA-TPQ, including its stability in plasma, plasma protein binding, metabolism by S9 enzymes, and plasma and tissue distribution. We believe these studies will be useful for further investigations, and may be useful for other investigators examining the use of similar compounds for cancer therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Drugs as Antitumour Agents)

Review

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Open AccessReview Marine Antitumor Drugs: Status, Shortfalls and Strategies
Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(10), 2702-2720; doi:10.3390/md8102702
Received: 31 August 2010 / Revised: 17 September 2010 / Accepted: 13 October 2010 / Published: 15 October 2010
Cited by 50 | PDF Full-text (493 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cancer is considered as one of the deadliest diseases in the medical field. Apart from the preventive therapies, it is important to find a curative measure which holds no loopholes and acts accurately and precisely to curb cancer. Over the past few [...] Read more.
Cancer is considered as one of the deadliest diseases in the medical field. Apart from the preventive therapies, it is important to find a curative measure which holds no loopholes and acts accurately and precisely to curb cancer. Over the past few decades, there have been advances in this field and there are many antitumor compounds available on the market, which are of natural as well as synthetic origin. Marine chemotherapy is well recognized nowadays and profound development has been achieved by researchers to deal with different molecular pathways of tumors. However, the marine environment has been less explored for the production of safe and novel antitumor compounds. The reason is a number of shortfalls in this field. Though ample reviews cover the importance and applications of various anticancerous compounds from marine natural products, in the present review, we have tried to bring the current status of antitumor research based on marine inhibitors of cancer signaling pathways. In addition, focus has been placed on the shortfalls and probable strategies in the arena of marine antitumor drug discovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Drugs as Antitumour Agents)

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