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Mar. Drugs 2018, 16(5), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/md16050162

Ascidian Toxins with Potential for Drug Development

School of Environment and Science, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia
Received: 7 April 2018 / Revised: 5 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 13 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Invertebrate Toxins)
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Abstract

Ascidians (tunicates) are invertebrate chordates, and prolific producers of a wide variety of biologically active secondary metabolites from cyclic peptides to aromatic alkaloids. Several of these compounds have properties which make them candidates for potential new drugs to treat diseases such as cancer. Many of these natural products are not produced by the ascidians themselves, rather by their associated symbionts. This review will focus mainly on the mechanism of action of important classes of cytotoxic molecules isolated from ascidians. These toxins affect DNA transcription, protein translation, drug efflux pumps, signaling pathways and the cytoskeleton. Two ascidian compounds have already found applications in the treatment of cancer and others are being investigated for their potential in cancer, neurodegenerative and other diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: secondary metabolites; bacterial symbiosis; anticancer activity; mechanism of action secondary metabolites; bacterial symbiosis; anticancer activity; mechanism of action
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Watters, D.J. Ascidian Toxins with Potential for Drug Development. Mar. Drugs 2018, 16, 162.

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