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Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(9), 493;

A Systematic Review of Recently Reported Marine Derived Natural Product Kinase Inhibitors
Li Dak Sum Yip Yio Chin Kenneth Li Marine Biopharmaceutical Research Center, Department of Marine Pharmacy, College of Food and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315800, Zhejiang, China
Institute of Drug Discovery Technology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, Zhejiang, China
National Centre for Aquatic Animal Health, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi, Kerala 682016, India
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, State University of Ponta Grossa, Ponta Grossa, Paraná 84030900, Brazil
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2019 / Accepted: 18 August 2019 / Published: 23 August 2019


Protein kinases are validated drug targets for a number of therapeutic areas, as kinase deregulation is known to play an essential role in many disease states. Many investigated protein kinase inhibitors are natural product small molecules or their derivatives. Many marine-derived natural products from various marine sources, such as bacteria and cyanobacteria, fungi, animals, algae, soft corals, sponges, etc. have been found to have potent kinase inhibitory activity, or desirable pharmacophores for further development. This review covers the new compounds reported from the beginning of 2014 through the middle of 2019 as having been isolated from marine organisms and having potential therapeutic applications due to kinase inhibitory and associated bioactivities. Moreover, some existing clinical drugs based on marine-derived natural product scaffolds are also discussed.
kinase inhibitors; drug development; marine natural products

1. Introduction

Oceans and seas occupy almost 70% of the Earth’s surface, and are estimated to host about 80% of all living species [1]. The rich biodiversity of the marine environment has been shown to yield equally rich chemical diversity of marine natural products isolated from the different organisms that have been studied since the 1940s [2]. In the same time period, roughly two-thirds of small molecules drugs with FDA or equivalent regulatory agency approvals have been granted for natural products or derivatives thereof [3]. This has certainly included many exceptionally impactful antibiotic or antiparasitic drugs and oncology therapeutics, among others [4,5,6,7]. Indeed, the published structures of natural products appear to correlate well with the chemical space occupied by approved drugs, and the natural product drug discovery continues to yield new and interesting compounds [2,8,9]. According to the MarinLit database (, more than 28,000 marine natural products have been reported after being isolated from a variety of marine sources; such as algae, ascidians, bryozoa, corals, microorganisms, sea hares, sea squirts, sponges, etc. [10]. The known and yet-to-be discovered marine natural product compounds represent a vast natural resource library. In the golden age of natural product research, many marine-derived scaffolds have been applied to clinical drug discovery and development due to new ideas and breakthroughs in screening technologies: (a) The mesophotic zone is increasingly recognized as being valuable for the discovery of new drug structures and unique activities [11]; (b) Computational methodologies play an essential role in the exploration of the biological activity and molecular structural networking of marine natural products [12]; (c) Databases of marine natural products (e.g. MarinLit: and Dictionary of Marine Natural Products: are available to facilitate dereplication and discovery efforts and improve marine natural products research; (d) Chemical synthesis of complex molecules has become increasingly feasible at even gram-scale quantities that allow for the further biological interrogation and drug development of natural products previously isolated in low yields [13].
Most of the kinase inhibitor drugs approved thus far are adenosine triphosphate (ATP) competitive inhibitors that have various practical off-target liabilities. Four major classes of kinases exist in mammalian signaling pathways, and these can be classified broadly by substrate specificity: Serine/threonine kinases, tyrosine kinases, dual kinases (both Ser/Thr and Tyr), and lipid kinases [14]. Protein kinases share a common mechanism that is demonstrated in Figure 1, in which the protein function is activated or inactivated by the transfer of a phosphate group from ATP to the free hydroxy of a serine, threonine or tyrosine on the targeted protein, whereas protein phosphatases remove a phosphate group from phosphorylated amino acids and thereby effectively reverse the effect [15,16,17,18]. There are 38 FDA-approved small molecule kinase inhibitors available for the treatment of different diseases, such as cancers, immunological, inflammatory, degenerative, metabolic, cardiovascular and infectious diseases [19,20], and many more candidates still in clinical development. Some new biological therapeutics, in the way of monoclonal antibodies, have been discovered or engineered to successfully target some kinases [21,22]. A major challenge in the development of new kinase inhibitors is to overcome the toxicity or non-specificity of the existing drugs that act as ATP binding site competitors. Since small-molecule natural products are produced by and interact with proteins in their natural settings, some are known to function as signaling molecules among many forms of life and have been creatively repurposed for human health applications. Accordingly, some marine natural products have served as drug lead compounds, and these provide an abundant resource for the discovery of next-generation kinase inhibitors that target allosteric regions away from the ATP binding sites [23,24,25,26] or by stabilizing inactive conformations to prevent the function of certain kinases [27,28,29,30]. This is particularly relevant for the treatment of cancers and bacterial infections.
This review provides insight into the kinase inhibitors isolated from marine sources (bacteria and cyanobacteria, fungi, animals, algae, soft corals and sponges) that have been reported in the last five years since 2014 and highlight the associated biological activities and potential clinical applications. Examples of successful applications of marine natural products lead compound discovery and use of new drug screening technologies that have enabled rapid expansion in the field are accordingly provided.

2. Discussion

2.1. New Kinase Inhibitors Discovered from Marine Organisms

Marine-derived natural products include a wide range of molecular classes such as alkaloids, macrolides, polypeptides, and terpenoids, and have different and interesting structures that play an important role in biological activities and clinical drug applications. As it pertains to the kinase research, a number of marine-derived kinase inhibitors have come from many different sources and target many different protein kinases (Figure 2). In the last five years covered in this review, from 2014–2019, there have been many results reported in the kinase research, and accordingly new biologically active kinase inhibitors that were discovered from various ocean life forms that include bacteria and cyanobacteria, fungi, animals, algae, soft corals and sponges. The initial reports of these natural product small molecules most typically include some rudimentary bioactivity test data, and further research can or does go on to explore more deeply the pharmacological potential of each. The new natural products reported during the period of this review are described systematically in the following sub-sections, divided by the source organisms reported for each.

2.1.1. Kinase Inhibitors from Marine Bacteria

In the time period covered in this review, 22 new natural product kinase inhibitors (1–22) were reported after being isolated from marine bacteria. These are listed in Table 1 and shown by structure in Figure 3, Figure 4, Figure 5, Figure 6, Figure 7, Figure 8 and Figure 9. The specific kinases reportedly involved in the biological activities of these compounds are described in the following paragraphs. Since staurosporine and its derivatives have been isolated and reported from marine bacteria, these are considered for the purpose of this review as being marine-derived natural products even though staurosporine itself and other analogues are also produced by terrestrial organisms. These are accordingly summarized in this section, for basic discoveries, and also in Section 2.2, for the preclinical and clinical candidates.
In 2015, Goutam Dey et al. reported the anticancer activity of a lipopeptide, iturin A (1, Figure 3), which was isolated from the marine bacterium Bacillus megaterium [33]. In the same report, compound 1 was shown to inhibit p-Akt kinase, p-MAPK and p-GSK3β [33]. In other investigations, iturin A has been found to induce antiproliferative and apoptotic effects in breast cancer cells in vitro (IC50 values of MDA-MB-231, MCF-7,MDA-MB-468 and T47D cells were 7.98 ± 0.19, 12.16 ± 0.24, 13.30 ± 0.97 and 26.29 ± 0.78 μM, respectively) and in vivo [33]. These results suggest that iturin A, with its mechanism of Akt inhibition, may be useful for the development of a drug for this or other types of cancers. In 2018, Biao Zhou et al. reported the isolation of three new indolocarbazole alkaloids (24) along with nine known compounds (including 5) from the marine bacterium Streptomyces sp. A65 [34]. Compounds 35 (Figure 4) inhibited PKC and BTK (IC50 between 0.25 μM and 1.91 μM), and compound 2 was not active [34]. The structural similarities of 25 along with the observed biological activities that include IC50 values across two or more orders of magnitude show the beginnings of a natural structural activity relationship (SAR). It would be interesting if this could be expanded by accessing further analogues through targeted isolation studies or synthetic chemistry.
In 2018, Le-Le Qin et al. reported two new indolocabazole analogues, compounds 6 and 7 (Figure 4) along with a related compound (8, Figure 5), isolated from a marine bacterium Streptomyces sp. A68 [35]. These compounds inhibited PKC-α, ROCK II and BTK with IC50 values ranging from 0.17 to 3.24 μM, and had cytotoxic activity in vitro against PC3 human prostate cancer cells [35]. The indolocarbazole alkaloid scaffold represented in these molecules has also been popular for the development of kinase inhibitory drugs. Comparing compounds 27, it can be considered that the position of the oxygen atom on the tetrahydrofuran subunit and its para-hydroxy and carbamic acid moieties may have important effects on the kinase inhibitor activity of each molecule.
In 2018, Yong-Jun Jiang et al. reported eight new and one known cyclizidine-type alkaloids including 9–12 (Figure 6) from the marine-derived actinomycete Streptomyces sp. HNA39 [36]. This class of molecules was first discovered only in 1982 from Streptomyces sp. NCIB 11649 [37,38,39]. From this group, compound 9 inhibited the in vitro survival of PC3 human prostate (IC50 = 0.52 ± 0.03 μM) and HCT116 human colorectal (IC50 = 8.3 ± 0.1 μM) cancer cells [36]. Compound 9 has four hydroxy groups on the indolizine core subunit, which may be important for producing the selectivity observed, since the mechanism of action is likely related to the Michael acceptor on the side chain. Furthermore, compounds 912 had some moderate inhibition against the ROCK2 (IC50 7.0 ± 0.8 to 42 ± 3 μM) [36].
In 2018, Jia-Nan Wang et al. reported nine new indolocarbazole alkaloids from the marine bacterium Streptomyces sp. DT-A61 [40]. Among these, compound 13 (Figure 7) was shown to inhibit ROCK2 (IC50 = 5.7 nM) [40]. The results of biological activity tests showed compound 14 (Figure 7) to be cytotoxic to PC3 human prostate cancer cells (IC50 = 0.16 μM) [40]. In 2017, Xiang-Wei Cheng et al. isolated eight known and one new indolocarbazole alkaloid, 12-N-methyl-k252c (15, Figure 7), from the marine bacterium Streptomyces sp. A22 [41]. From this sample set, only 15 reportedly inhibited protein kinases (IC50 = 0.91–1.84 μM against various targets) [41].
In 2018, Biao Zhou et al. 15 staurosporine derivatives from the marine bacterium Streptomyces sp. NB-A13 [42]. Among these, six were new (1621; Figure 8), and each one except for 16 inhibited PKC-θ (IC50 0.06 to 9.43 μM) [42]. The most active of them was compound 21, which also inhibited SW-620 cells in vitro (IC50 = 9.99 nM) at even greater potency than staurosporine (IC50 = 25.10 nM) [42]. Structurally, compound 21 bears an additional hydroxy group in the bis-indole ring system that is shared with staurosporine, indicating one possible avenue for medicinal chemistry optimization of other molecules in this chemical class.
From the marine bacterium Streptomyces sp. XMA39, Yong-Jun Jiang et al. in 2018 isolated the known compound medermycin, and four new structurally related naphthoquinones, strepoxepinmycins A–D [43]. All of these marine natural products were growth inhibitors for different human pathogenic bacteria, and compound 22 (Figure 9) showed ROCK2 inhibition (IC50 > 20 μM) and cytotoxic activity against HCT-116 and PC3 cancer cells in vitro with IC50 > 40 mM [43].

2.1.2. Kinase Inhibitors from Marine Fungi

In the time period covered in this review, 16 new natural product kinase inhibitors (23–38) were reported after being isolated from marine fungi. These are listed in Table 2 and shown by structure in Figure 10, Figure 11 and Figure 12. The specific kinases reportedly involved in the biological activities of these compounds are described in the following paragraphs.
In 2017, Dong-Ni Chen et al. reported the structure of sclerotiorin (23, Figure 10) isolated from the marine fungus Penicillium sp. Strain ZJ27 [44]. At the same time, sclerotiorin was shown to very weakly inhibit PknG (IC50 = 76.5 μM) [44]. In 2014, Dong-Cheol Kim et al. reported that methylpenicinoline (compound 24, Figure 10) was isolated from marine fungus Penicillium sp. and inhibited p-p38 MAPK pathways, although no specific activity value was noted [45]. The authors proposed that 24 might be useful for further development toward the treatment of inflammatory and neuroinflammatory diseases, so the results of ongoing work may demonstrate their follow-up. Mycoepoxydiene (25, Figure 10) was reported in 2014 by Wen-Jiao Li et al., after it was isolated from the marine fungal strain Diaporthe sp. HLY-1 [46]. Compound 25 was shown to induce apoptosis and inhibit phosphorylation of IKK, and it was suggested that the inhibition of IKK activity and human cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) cells such as SK-ChA-1 (IC50 =12.5 ± 0.2 μM) and Mz-ChA-1 (IC50 = 35.6 ± 0.2 μM) may fully or partially explain the observed apoptosis [46]. These results suggest that compound 25 could be used as a lead molecule for the design and development of potent and selective new inhibitors of IKK with a potential for therapy of human cholangiocarcinoma disease [15,46]. In 2014, Kunlai Sun et al. reported a new indole-diterpenoid (26, Figure 10) that was isolated from the marine fungus Aspergillus flavus OUCMDZ-2205 [47]. This compound was found to inhibit PKC-β (IC50 = 15.6 μM), at 10 μM arrested A549 cells in the cell cycle S phase, and showed antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (MIC = 20.5 μM) [47]. In 2015, Wen-Liang Chen et al. isolated xyloketal B (compound 27, Figure 10) from the fungus Xylaria sp. (No. 2508) that was collected in a mangrove [48]. Compound 27 was shown at 300 μM to inhibit p-Akt (inhibition rate ~ 34%) and p-ERK1/2 (inhibition rate ~ 40%) protein expression in vitro, and the determinants of anti-proliferation and migration effects against glioblastoma U251 cells (IC50 = 287.1 ± 1.0 μM) in vitro included TRPM7-regulated PI3K/Akt and MEK/ERK signaling [48].
In 2015, Dong-Cheol Kim et al. [49] reported a new dihydroisocoumarin derivative (compound 28, Figure 11) from the marine fungus Aspergillus sp. SF-5976, and this molecule inhibits p-p38 MAPK [49]. In 2016, Jong Won Kim et al. reported the discovery of stachybotrysin (29, Figure 11), which was isolated from the marine fungus Stachybotrys sp. KCB13F013 and found to inhibit the RANKL-induced activation of p-ERK, p-JNK and p-p38 MAPK [50]. The kinase inhibition activities of compound 28 and 29 were determined by Western blot analyses. In 2016, Jutta Wiese et al. reported pannorin (30), alternariol (31), and alternariol-9-methylether (32), which were isolated from the marine fungus, Botryotinia fuckeliana [51]. Compounds 3032 (Figure 11) showed potent inhibition of GSK-3 in vitro with IC50 = 0.35 ± 0.04 μM, 0.13 ± 0.04 and 0.20 ± 0.04 μM, respectively [51]. The highly oxygenated benzocoumarin scaffolds represented in these molecules are apparently effective groups for GSK-3β inhibition, and these could merit further development through medicinal chemistry approaches although the current leads show very weak antibacterial and cytotoxic effects. In 2015, Wonmin Ko et al. reported alternaramide (33, Figure 11), which was isolated from the marine fungus Alternaria sp. SF-5016 [52]. This compound inhibited the formation of p-JNK and p-p38 MAPK, as determined by Western blotting, suggesting that it could be useful in the treatment of various acute, systemic, and neurological inflammatory diseases [52]. In 2015, Kwang-Ho Cho et al. reported citreohybridonol (34, Figure 11) after it had been isolated from the extract of the marine-derived fungus Toxicocladosporium sp. SF-5699 [53]. Compound 34 was pursuantly shown to inhibit the activation of p38 MAPK pathways by the Western blot analysis [53].
In 2016, M García-Caballero et al. reported that toluquinol (35, Figure 12), isolated from the marine fungus Penicillium sp. HL-85-ALS5-R004, inhibited the phosphorylation of p-Akt and p-ERK1/2 in vitro and VEGF-C-induced lymphatic vessel formation and corneal neovascularization in mice [54]. Compound 35 plays a demonstrated role in inhibiting angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, which is meaningful in connection with the implications of tumour-induced lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis. In 2016, Bin Wu et al. reported on biscogniauxone (36, 12), a new isopyrrolonaphthoquinone isolated from the deep-sea (2800 m) fungus Biscogniauxia mediterranea [55]. Compound 36 moderately inhibited GSK-3β (IC50 = 8.04 μM) and had almost negligible antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (IC50 ~ 100 μM) [55]. Marine-derived fungi from the deep sea are promising but severely under-studied biological resources, and these possess abundant novel and bioactive secondary metabolites that urgently need to be mined if adequate access to the resource can be obtained [57]. In 2017, Nguyen Thi Thanh Ngan et al. reported that citrinin H1 (compound 37, Figure 12), isolated from the marine fungal strain Penicillium sp. SF-5629, inhibited p-p38 MAPK expression in vitro [56]. Additionally in 2017, Marion Navarri et al. reported that dihydrosecofuscin (compound 38, Figure 12), isolated from a deep-sea (765 m) fungus Oidiodendron griseum UBOCC-A-114129, inhibited CLK1 (IC50 = 15.6 μg/mL) [58]. Compound 38 showed weak antibacterial activities (MIC ~ 100 μg/mL) against Gram-positive bacteria, and the authors noted a potential use of this CLK1 inhibitor for the treatment of Alzheimer’s due to the connection between the particular kinase and disease [58].

2.1.3. Kinase Inhibitors from Marine Soft Coral

In the time period covered in this review, two new natural product kinase inhibitors (39 and 40) were reported after being isolated from marine soft coral (see Table 3). Dihydroaustrasulfone alcohol (39, Figure 13), is a molecule that was reported in 2015 by Pei-Chuan Li et al. after being isolated from soft corals [59]. This compound inhibited ERK/MAPK and PI3K/AKT, and was suggested as a lead that could be pursued for the prevention and treatment of arterial restenosis [59]. In 2017, pachycladin A (40, Figure 13) was re-isolated from the soft coral Cladiella pachyclados found in the Red Sea, and a newly shown activity (absent from the previous report of this compound in 2010 [61]) was that it inhibited two members of the EGFR family when screened at 10 μM [60].

2.1.4. Kinase Inhibitors from Marine Animals

In the time period covered in this review, 14 new natural product kinase inhibitors (41–54) were reported after being isolated from marine animals. These are listed in Table 4 and shown by structure in Figure 14, Figure 15 and Figure 16. The specific kinases reportedly involved in the biological activities of these compounds are described in the following paragraphs.
In 2014, didemnaketals D and E (compounds 41 and 42, Figure 14) were reportedly discovered from marine tunicates of the genus Didemnum, and these compounds inhibited several kinases (CDK5, CK1, DyrK1A, and GSK3) at 10 μg/mL and were moderately antimicrobial in vitro against S. aureus and Bacillus subtilis [62]. In 2015, Youssef [63] et al. reported the three new purine alkaloids 4346 (Figure 15), together with seven known compounds (4552, Figure 15) from the marine tunicate Symplegma rubra, collected from the Saudi Red Sea coast (5–7 m depth). The authors reported that these compounds were found to be moderate inhibitors of different kinases (CDK5, CK1, DyrK1A, and GSK-3), with some activity at 10 μg/mL, but noted that the observed IC50 values (>10 μM) were “not sufficient to pursue with these compounds into the in vivo studies” [63]. This report was somewhat vague and did not specify the individual activity of each molecule.
In 2017, frondoside A (compound 53, Figure 16) was isolated from Cucumaria frondosa, the Atlantic sea cucumber, and reported as being an effective inhibitor of PAK1 (IC50 ~ 1.2 μM), LIMK (IC50 ~ 60 μM), AKT (IC50 ~ 59 μM) and A549 lung cancer cells (IC50 ~ 1–3 μM) in vitro, indicating that it may be useful in the treatment of malignancies [64,65]. Additionally in 2017, the molecule 1-deoxyrhodoptilometrin (compound 54, Figure 16), which was first discovered by Wright et al. from the Echinoderm Colobometra perspinosa [67], was re-isolated from the marine echinoderm Comanthus sp. [66]. This compound was subsequently reported to inhibit the IGF1-R kinase, focal adhesion kinase, and EGF receptor kinase with IC50 = 5, 8.4 and 4 μM, respectively [66].

2.1.5. Kinase Inhibitors from Marine Algae

In the time period covered in this review, 10 new natural product kinase inhibitors (55–64) were reported after being isolated from marine algae. These are listed in Table 5 and shown by structure in Figure 17, Figure 18 and Scheme 1. The specific kinases reportedly involved in the biological activities of these compounds are described in the following paragraphs.
In 2015, Shuai-Yu Wang et al. reported compound 55 (Figure 17) as a multi-target RTKs inhibitor such as FGFR2, FGFR3, VEGFR2 and PDGFR-α (with in vitro inhibition rates of 57.7%, 78.6%, 78.5% and 71.1%, respectively), which was isolated from Rhodomela confervoides, a red alga, and this molecule also inhibits p-PKB/Akt [68,69]. Compound 55 may accordingly present a scaffold from which to develop new multi-target RTKs inhibitors. In 2017, Sung-Hwan Eom et al. reported that the polyphenolic molecule eckol (56, Figure 17), purified from the edible brown seaweed Eisenia bicyclis, inhibited Propionibacterium acnes mediated phosphorylation of Akt [70]. Eckol is also proposed as an anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant. In 2017, fucoxanthin (57, Figure 17), a well-known marine carotenoid, was shown to inhibit Akt/NF-κB and involved MAPK pathways in vitro, suggesting that it could be a potential therapeutic agent acting by this mechanism for the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases [71,72,73]. Further validation studies are obviously necessary, and likely ongoing. In 2018, Youn Kyung Choi et al. reported the isolation of bis (3-bromo-4,5-dihydroxybenzyl) ether (58, Figure 17) from Polysiphonia morrowii, a red alga [74]. Compound 58 selectively inhibited p-ERK, demonstrating that it could have potential in the treatment of inflammatory diseases [74]. In 2014, Paudel et al. postulated that since the polyphenolics 6–6 bieckol and pholorofucofuroeckol A (59 and 60, Figure 17) inhibited p-ERK1/2 and p-JNK activation, these hold potential value for treating pulpitis and oral diseases [75]. These two compounds were isolated from Eisenia bicyclis, a brown alga [75].
Apratoxin A is a cyanobacterial, or “blue-green algal”, natural product macrocycle that was first reported by Luesch et al. in 2001 as a product of a hybrid polyketide synthase-nonribosomal peptide synthetase (PKS/NRPS) biosynthetic pathway [83]. In 2017, Wei-Jing Cai et al. later designed and synthesized a series of cyclic depsipeptides based on apratoxin A, including apratoxin S10 (61, Scheme 1) [76]. This analogue of apratoxin A was selected as a desirable drug lead with cancer cell growth (IC50 = 5.97 nM against HCT116) and RTKs inhibitory activity [76]. The synthetic route of generating apratoxin S10 is depicted in Scheme 1. The synthesis of apratoxin S10 followed the reported strategy used to produce the lead compound, apratoxin A, with some modification to introduce new functionality [76].
In 2015, Mahesh Sapkota [78] et al. reported bromo-honaucin A (62, Figure 18), which was first isolated from marine cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya crossbyana and chemical synthesis was completed by Hyukjae Choi and William H. Gerwick et al. [77]. Compound 62 inhibited AKt and ERK, and the authors noted a potential use of this AKt and ERK inhibitor for the treatment of bone lysis due to the connection between the particular kinase and disease. In 2015, Zhengyu Cao et al. [81] reported the discovery of hoiamide A (63, Figure 18), which was first isolated from marine cyanobacterium Moorea producens by Alban Pereira et al. [79] and found to stimulate and increase the hoiamide A-induced activation of JNK. Compound 63 showed the inhibition of neurite outgrowth (IC50 = 4.89 nM). In 2016, Jeffrey D. Serrill et al. [82] reported coibamide A (64, Figure 18) (first isolated from marine cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya sp. [81]) inhibited VEGFA/VEGFR2 expression in mice and showed antitumor activities against glioblastoma xenografts.

2.1.6. Kinase Inhibitors from Marine Sponges

In the time period covered in this review, 42 new natural product kinase inhibitors (65–106) were reported after being isolated from marine sponges. These are listed in Table 6, shown by structure in Figure 19, Figure 20, Figure 21, Figure 22, Figure 23, Figure 24, Figure 25 and Figure 26 and Scheme 2, Scheme 3, Scheme 4 and Scheme 5, and described in detail in the following paragraphs.
In 2014, Fabien Plisson et al. reported some new bromopyrrole alkaloids including hymenialdisine (65, Figure 19) that were isolated from Callyspongia sp. [84]. This interesting class of molecules has been studied for several decades, owing to their peculiar structural skeleton and associated pharmacological effects [85,86]. Compound 65 inhibited CK1, CDK5, GSK3β and SW620 (3.1 μM), KB-3-1 (2.0 μM), which are targets for treating neurodegenerative diseases [84]. In 2014, the β-carboline alkaloids 6668 (Figure 19), including hainanerectamines B and C, were isolated from the marine sponge Hyrtios erecta after it was collected in Hainan, China [87]. These molecules have been shown to inhibit the dual kinase Aurora A with relatively high IC50 values of 10 μg/mL–25 μg/mL [88]. In 2014, Mohamed R. Akl et al. reported the isolation of sipholenol A from the sponge Callyspongia siphonella, collected in the Red Sea [89]. A semisynthetic analogue of sipholenol A, sipholenol A-4-O-3′,4′-dichlorobenzoate (69, Figure 19) was associated with the suppression of the Brk and FAK signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo, also inhibited MDA-MB-231, MCF-7, BT-474 and T-47D breast cancer cells with IC50 values of 7.5 μM, 15.2 μM, 20.1 μM and 25.1 μM, respectively, making it a potentially interesting pro-drug for sipholenol A [89].
In 2015, Karianne F. Lind et al. reported that barettin (70, Figure 20), which was first isolated and described in 1986 [90], inhibited RIPK2 (IC50 = 8.0 μM), CAMK1a (IC50 = 5.7 μM), SIK2 (IC50 = 6.1 μM) and produced anti-inflammatory effects in vitro [91,92]. In 2015, Rebecca Horbert et al. reported the synthetic compound 71 (Figure 20) with a 3,5-diarylpyrazin-2-one core that was based on hamacanthins A and B, which are sponge natural products of the bis-indole alkaloid class [93]. Compound 71 inhibited PDGF-Rβ with good potency (IC50 = 0.02 μM), and was cytotoxic in vitro against PDGF-R dependent cancer cells [93]. The accompanying structure-activity relationship indicated that the added 3′-methoxy and 4′-hydroxyphenyl substituents led to an increase in the inhibitory activity against PDGF-Rβ, helping to direct future related research studies [93]. Fascaplysin (72, Figure 20) previously was isolated from the marine sponge Fascaplysinopsis species [94] and shown to inhibit CDK-4/D1 with moderate potency (IC50 = 0.35 μM) and some selectivity amongst kinases [95]. This compound is known to have multiple other mechanisms of action, including DNA binding. More recently, in 2015, S. Mahale et al. synthesized a non-planar analogue of fascaplysin, N-(biphenyl-2-yl) tryptoline (73, Figure 20), and reported that this retained some weak but selective inhibition of CDK-4/D1 (IC50 ~10 μM) [96]. Although this represents a marked drop in potency, compound 73 was successfully designed to overcome DNA intercalation that had been considered a liability of the more active 72 [96]. Compound 73 was validated as being a preferable anticancer agent than 72, including the results from PK studies in mice [96]. It has been further suggested that compound 73 constitutes a lead scaffold from which drug candidates could be designed for the treatment of certain cancers [96,97,98]. The synthetic route of production for 73 is depicted in Scheme 2 [96], which includes commercially available starting materials (biphenyl 2-carboxylic acid and tetrahydro-β-carboline), commonly used reagents [hexafluorophosphate benzotriazole tetramethyl uronium (HBTU) and N,N-diisopropylethylamine (DIEA)], and runs in good yield (~70%). The further development of fascaplysin analogues and derivatives through medicinal chemistry will accordingly help overcome the common “supply problem” of advancement of natural product drug candidates. In 2017, Sonia Sharma et al. synthesized 4-chlorofascaplysin (74, Scheme 3; a marine sponge alkaloid fascaplysin analogue) and found it to be cytotoxic to breast cancer cells in vitro (IC50 = 0.3 μM) and to inhibit PI3K/AKt/mTOR in vitro and in vivo [99]. The synthetic route of 4-chloro fascaplysin is depicted in Scheme 3, where the two-step synthesis includes low cost materials and high yield reactions [99].
In 2015, Clinton G. L. Veale et al. created a series of synthetic bisindole compounds including 75 and 76 (Figure 21), based on deoxytopsentin that was isolated from marine sponge Topsentia pachastrelloides [100]. Compounds 75 and 76 inhibit PK from methicillin resistant S. aureus (IC50 = 60 and 16 nM, respectively), and had good in vitro antibacterial activity (MIC ~ 10 μg/mL) [100]. Compound 77 (Figure 21) is among the series of synthetic analogues based on 75 and 76, and it had enhanced inhibitory activity against MRSA PK (IC50 = 1.4 nM) [100]. Additionally in 2015, Mohamed R. Akl et al. reported an RTK inhibitor, araguspongine C (compound 78, Figure 22), was isolated from the marine sponge Xestospongia sp. [101]. Sherif S. Ebada et al. reported the productive discovery of 25 bromopyrrole alkaloids in 2015, from the Indonesian marine sponges Stylissa massa and Stylissa flabelliformis [102]. This sample set included dispacamide E (compound 79) [103], the brominated aldisines 8082 [103,104], (–)-mukanadin C (83) [105,106] and (–)-longamide (84) [107], these compounds, shown in Figure 22, were moderate inhibitors of GSK-3, DYRK1A and CK-1 (IC50 0.6 ~ 6.4 μM), and may have future development potential for treating various diseases [102]. In 2015, Fei He et al. reported seven new derivatives of adociaquinone that were isolated from a marine sponge, Xestospongia sp., collected in Indonesia [108]. Among these, compounds 85 and 86 (Figure 22) moderately but selectively inhibited CDK9/cyclin T and CDK5/p25 at 3–6 μM IC50, while 87 and 88 (also Figure 22) moderately inhibited most protein kinases without selectivity (IC50 = 0.5 ~ 7.5 μM) and compound 88 showed marginal activity against DYRK1A [108].
In 2015, Esther A. Guzmán et al. [109] reported microsclerodermin A (89, Figure 23), from the marine sponge Amphibleptula cf. madrepora, and this compound inhibited GSK3β and pancreatic cancer cell viability in vitro (IC50 = 2.4 μM). In 2015, Shou-Ping Shih et al. isolated a marine polycyclic quinone called halenaquinone (compound 90, Figure 23) from the marine sponge Petrosia sp. [110]. This molecule is a broad spectrum tyrosine kinase inhibitor, as well as in vitro cytotoxin against multiple cell types (IC50 = 0.18 ~ 8.0 μg/mL) [110]. In 2016, Germana Esposito et al. reported chloromethylhalicyclamine B (91, Figure 23) after it was isolated from the sponge Acanthostrongylophora sp., and suggested that it “can efficiently interact with the ATP-binding site of CK1δ (IC50 = 6 μM) in spite of its globular structure, very different from the planar structure of known inhibitors of CK1δ [111]. As the authors also suggested, this molecule can be a lead molecule for the creation of new CK1δ/ε inhibitors. In 2016, Ran Wang et al. discovered stellettin B (92, Figure 23) from the marine sponge Jaspis stellifera, and it inhibited phosphorylation of PI3K and Akt [112]. Moreover, compound 92 exhibited potent activitivity against human glioblastoma cancer SF295 cells (IC50 = 0.01 μM).
In 2016, María Roel et al. reported that crambescidins 816, 830, and 800 (compounds 9395, Figure 24) were isolated from the marine sponge Smenospongia sp. [113]. These compounds inhibited tumor cell proliferation by suppressing CDK 2/6 expression and activated the cell CDK inhibitors -2A, -2D and -1A, suggesting some potential as anticancer agents [113]. In 2017, Nadège Loaëc et al. reported polyandrocarpamines A and B (96 and 97, Figure 24) as synthetic analogues of the 2-aminoimidazolin-4-one scaffold previously isolated from marine calcareous sponges Leucetta and Clathrina [114]. Compounds 96 and 97 were found to be nM potency inhibitors of DYRKs (IC50 = 0.17 ~ 0.88 μM) and CLKs (IC50 = 0.32 ~ 8.6 μM), and the 2-aminoimidazolone scaffold was accordingly proposed as having promise for developing new kinase inhibitors [114].
In 2018, the manzamine alkaloids were isolated from Indo-Pacific marine sponges Acanthostrongylophora sp., including manzamine A (98), 8-hydroxymanzamine A (99), manzamine E (100), manzamine F (101), 6-deoxymanzamine X (102), and the synthetic analogue 6-cyclohexamidomanzamine A (103) was also generated [115,116]. These compounds (Figure 25) showed mixed noncompetitive inhibition of MtSK, and the synthetic compound 103 takes advantage of the structural features to pursue applications of anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic, insecticidal, and antibacterial activities with potential for development against malaria and tuberculosis [115,116]. In 2014, Nag S. Kumar et al. reported the discovery of a series of bis-indole alkaloids based on the structure of a marine alkaloid isolated from the marine sponge Topsentia pachastrelloides, of which compound 104 (Figure 26) is a promising PK inhibitor [117].
In 2015, Yongseok Kwon et al. synthesized compound 105 (Scheme 4) as a synthetic analogue of pachastrissamine (first reported in 2002 from the marine sponge Pachastrissa sp.), and it has in vitro cytotoxicity along with sphingosine kinase inhibitory activity that was deemed superior to the natural lead compound [118,119]. The IC50 of compound 105 and pachastrissamine in the inhibition of SphK1 and SphK2 were 7.5 μM and 12.0 μM, 20.1 μM and 41.8 μM, respectively, suggesting that compound 105 could have preferable usage in related pharmaceutical applications [118,119]. The synthetic route of the pachastrissamine carbocyclic analogue 105 is depicted in Scheme 4. The compound (+)-liphagal (106, Scheme 5) was first isolated in 2006 from a marine sponge by Frederick and Andersen et al. [120] and in 2015 the chemical synthesis was completed by Markwell-Heys et al. [121]. This compound inhibited PIK-α (IC50 = 100 nM), and was also found to be cytotoxic to several tumor cell lines with IC50 ≈ 1 μM. It has been suggested that 106 has potential application as a new type of kinase inhibitor or even cancer drug [122]. The synthetic route of (+)-liphagal is depicted in Scheme 5, which initiates with (+)-sclareolide (commercially available) and generates the final product in ~10% yield after 13 reaction steps [122].

2.2. Preclinical and Clinical Candidates

The US FDA has already approved more than 34 small molecule kinase inhibitors for human use [123]. Many of these have been used for the treatment of cancers, although toxicity is of great concern. A number of marine-derived kinase inhibitors have entered clinic trials, and some are already in later pre-approval stages or have been recently approved (Figure 27 and Figure 28 and Table 7). For example, plitidepsin (aplidin) is a marine natural product that was developed by the Spanish company PharmaMar as an inhibitor of EGPR, Src, JNK and p38 MAPK and, although there were dose-limiting toxicities in some cases, it was not fully withdrawn from clinical trials during phase II [124,125,126]. Later, it was approved for clinical use in Australia in 2018 for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma patients. Midostaurin is among the important drugs for aggressive systemic mastocytosis (ASM) treatment as a multi-target protein kinase inhibitor, and it was FDA-approved in 2017 [124,127,128,129]. Protein kinase inhibitors from the marine origin that have entered clinical trials include three kinase inhibitors (lestaurtinib [130], enzastaurin [131], CEP-1347 [14,124,127]) in phase III, three kinase inhibitors (kahalalide F [132,133], 7-hydroxystaurosporine [134,135], staurosporine [136]) in phase II and two kinase inhibitors (CEP-2563 [14,124,127], isokahalalide F [14,124,127]) in phase I clinical studies. Somewhat related, bryostatin 1 entered phase II clinical trials for testing in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease as a PKC activator, after it was also experimentally used in phase I trials for various forms of cancer [137,138,139]. It will be interesting to see the future developments of this marine natural product drug candidate and others.

3. Conclusions

A wide variety of kinase inhibitors have been recently published from marine-derived sources, including bacteria and cyanobacteria, fungi, animals, algae, soft corals and sponges. More than 100 kinase inhibitors of marine origin have been systematically documented for facile examination and comparison. An evaluation of the number of compounds reported during the period of this review, separated by the class of source organism, shows that there is a vast opportunity area for a kinase inhibitor research on the natural product chemistry of marine soft corals, especially (Figure 29). However, it should also be considered that from the overwhelming 58 kinase inhibitors reported from marine animals, soft corals, and sponges during this period, many are likely produced by symbiotic microorganisms. It is equally important to realize, however, that those symbionts may be difficult or impossible to cultivate in laboratory conditions. It is thus of increasing importance that the development of selective kinase inhibitors from marine natural product drug discovery leads has utilized active fragment (pharmacophore) based medicinal chemistry to overcome supply limitations of natural product drug leads, and further optimize the drug-like properties of these molecules. In this way, each newly reported compound may provide marine-derived scaffolds and bioactivity information for drug screening, and many have been found to have significant biological properties that could be used in the treatment of different conditions such as cancers, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases, for example.
The noted structural differences and diversity of the marine natural products and their derivatives are important for chemical properties, conferring pharmacological effects, and of late-stage interest, intellectual property management. Some recent marine drug approvals include plitidepsin (aplidin), an ascidian natural product, and midostaurin, which is a synthetic derivative of the marine and terrestrial microbial molecule, staurosporine. There is also a pipeline of clinical trial candidates and preclinical development projects behind these drugs.
In recent years, new techniques including deep sea sampling, advanced methods in chemical synthesis, more efficient target-based isolation [140], along with computational database mining strategies and high-throughput screenings have been widely helpful for drug candidate discovery and design. These all improve the efficiency and success rate of the drug development process. Since kinases are directly implicated in so many aspects of disease development and progression in growth, successful targeting of these proteins has resulted in a number of novel drugs for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases and is expected to continue to do so. Nevertheless, while most of the approved kinase inhibitors are ATP binding site competitors, there is a dire need to overcome the toxicity associated with this liability. Hence, marine-derived natural product kinase inhibitors could serve as lead compounds for development by medicinal chemistry. These diverse compounds greatly improve the chemical space covered during screening for new kinase inhibitors, with the goal of eventually providing new clinical candidates for unmet medical needs.


This research and the APC was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC0310900), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81850410553, 41776168), the National 111 Project of China (D16013), the Li Dak Sum Yip Yio Chin Kenneth Li Marine Biopharmaceutical Development Fund, and the K.C. Wong Magna Fund in Ningbo University, the Natural Science Foundation of Ningbo City (2018A610410) and Foundation of Ningbo University for Grant (XYL18004).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

List of Abbreviations

AKtSerine/ threonine kinase
BTKBrution tyrosine kinase
BrKBreast tumor kinase
CLK1Cdc2-like kinase 1
CLKsCdc2-like kinases
CDK1Cyclin-dependent kinase 1
CDK2Cyclin-dependent kinase 2
CDK4Cyclin-dependent kinase 4
CDK5Cyclin-dependent kinase 5
CDK6Cyclin-dependent kinase 6
CDK9Cyclin-dependent kinase 9
CK1Casein kinase 1
CK5Casein kinase 5
CAMK1aCalcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase 1a
CDKN1CCyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1C
CDKN2BCyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2B
CHEK2Checkpoint kinase 2
Class I PI3KPI3-kinase class I
ChkCsk homologous kinase
CaMKIICalmodulin-dependent protein kinase II
DYRK1ADual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation regulated kinase-1A
DYRKSDual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation regulated kinases
ERKExtracellular signal-regulated kinase
ERK1/2Extracellular signal-regulated kinase1/2
EGFREpidermal growth factor receptor
FAKFocal adhesion kinase
FGERFibroblast Growth Factor Receptor
GSK-3Glycogen synthase kinase 3
GSK-3βGlycogen synthase kinase 3 beta
IKKIkappaB kinase
IGF1-RInsulin-like growth factor 1 receptor
JNKC-Jun NH-terminal kinase
LIMKLIM kinase
MtSKShikimate kinase from mycobacterium tuberculosis
MRSA PKMRSA pyruvate kinase
MAPKMitogen-activated protein kinases
MAP3K11Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase11
MICMinimum inhibitory concentration
NF-κBNuclear factor – kappa B
PKC-αProtein kinase C alpha
PKC-βProtein kinase C beta
PKnGProtein kinase G
PKBProtein kinase B
p-AKtPhosphorylated AKt
p-ERK1/2Phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase
PAK1p21-activated kinase 1
PI3KPhosphatidylinositol 3-kinase
PDGFR-αPlatelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha
PDGFR-βPlatelet-derived growth factor receptor beta
PDPK1Phosphatidylinositide-dependent protein kinase 1
ROCK2Rho-associated protein kinase
RTKsReceptor tyrosine kinase
RIPK2Receptor-interacting serine/threonine kinase 2
STKSerine/threonine kinase family
SIK2Salt-inducible kinase2
SphKsSphingosine kinases
STAT3Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3
VEGFAVascular endothelial growth factor A
VEGFR2Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2
JAK2Tyrosine-protein kinase JAK2


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Figure 1. The catalytic cycle for protein phosphorylation by a protein kinase. Red circles represent phosphate groups. Adapted from content in Ref [16].
Figure 1. The catalytic cycle for protein phosphorylation by a protein kinase. Red circles represent phosphate groups. Adapted from content in Ref [16].
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Figure 2. Availability of some marine-derived kinase inhibitors with activity on the phylogenetic tree of the human protein kinase family. Color codes indicate the producing or source organisms. Yellow: Marine bacteria. Green: Marine fungi. Gray: Marine soft coral. Light blue: Marine animals. Dark blue: Marine algae. Red: Marine sponges. Adapted from refs [31] and [32] with permission, the original illustration reproduced courtesy of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. (, 2019.
Figure 2. Availability of some marine-derived kinase inhibitors with activity on the phylogenetic tree of the human protein kinase family. Color codes indicate the producing or source organisms. Yellow: Marine bacteria. Green: Marine fungi. Gray: Marine soft coral. Light blue: Marine animals. Dark blue: Marine algae. Red: Marine sponges. Adapted from refs [31] and [32] with permission, the original illustration reproduced courtesy of Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. (, 2019.
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Figure 3. Structure of the lipopeptide iturin A (1).
Figure 3. Structure of the lipopeptide iturin A (1).
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Figure 4. Structures of indolocarbazole alkaloids 27.
Figure 4. Structures of indolocarbazole alkaloids 27.
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Figure 5. Structure of compound 8.
Figure 5. Structure of compound 8.
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Figure 6. Structures of cyclizidine-type alkaloids 912.
Figure 6. Structures of cyclizidine-type alkaloids 912.
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Figure 7. Structure of indolocarbazole alkaloids 1315.
Figure 7. Structure of indolocarbazole alkaloids 1315.
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Figure 8. Structures of staurosporine derivatives 1621.
Figure 8. Structures of staurosporine derivatives 1621.
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Figure 9. Structure of compound 22.
Figure 9. Structure of compound 22.
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Figure 10. Structure of compounds 2327.
Figure 10. Structure of compounds 2327.
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Figure 11. Structure of compounds 2834.
Figure 11. Structure of compounds 2834.
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Figure 12. Structure of compounds 3538.
Figure 12. Structure of compounds 3538.
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Figure 13. Structure of compounds 3940.
Figure 13. Structure of compounds 3940.
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Figure 14. Structures of didemnaketals D (41) and E (42).
Figure 14. Structures of didemnaketals D (41) and E (42).
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Figure 15. Structures of purine and pyridine alkaloids (4352).
Figure 15. Structures of purine and pyridine alkaloids (4352).
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Figure 16. Structure of compounds 5354.
Figure 16. Structure of compounds 5354.
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Figure 17. Structure of compounds 5560.
Figure 17. Structure of compounds 5560.
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Scheme 1. Synthesis and structure of apratoxin S10 (61).
Scheme 1. Synthesis and structure of apratoxin S10 (61).
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Figure 18. Structure of compounds 6264.
Figure 18. Structure of compounds 6264.
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Figure 19. Structure of compounds 6569.
Figure 19. Structure of compounds 6569.
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Figure 20. Structure of compounds 7073.
Figure 20. Structure of compounds 7073.
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Scheme 2. Synthetic preparation of the fascaplysin derivative, compound 73.
Scheme 2. Synthetic preparation of the fascaplysin derivative, compound 73.
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Scheme 3. Synthesis of 4-chloro fascaplysin (74).
Scheme 3. Synthesis of 4-chloro fascaplysin (74).
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Figure 21. Synthetic analogues (7577) of the marine bisindole alkaloid deoxytopsentin.
Figure 21. Synthetic analogues (7577) of the marine bisindole alkaloid deoxytopsentin.
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Figure 22. Structure of compounds 7888.
Figure 22. Structure of compounds 7888.
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Figure 23. Structure of compounds 8992.
Figure 23. Structure of compounds 8992.
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Figure 24. Structures of compounds 9297.
Figure 24. Structures of compounds 9297.
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Figure 25. Structures of compounds 98103.
Figure 25. Structures of compounds 98103.
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Figure 26. Structure of the bis-indole compound, 104.
Figure 26. Structure of the bis-indole compound, 104.
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Scheme 4. Synthetic route and structure of pachastrissamine carbocyclic analogue 105.
Scheme 4. Synthetic route and structure of pachastrissamine carbocyclic analogue 105.
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Scheme 5. Synthesis and structure of (+)-liphagal (106).
Scheme 5. Synthesis and structure of (+)-liphagal (106).
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Figure 27. Structures of marine-derived kinase inhibitors in clinical use (107108).
Figure 27. Structures of marine-derived kinase inhibitors in clinical use (107108).
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Figure 28. Structures of marine-derived kinase inhibitors, 109117, currently in clinical trials.
Figure 28. Structures of marine-derived kinase inhibitors, 109117, currently in clinical trials.
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Figure 29. A breakdown by class of the reported producing organism for the marine derived natural product kinase inhibitors covered in this review period, from January, 2014 to February, 2019.
Figure 29. A breakdown by class of the reported producing organism for the marine derived natural product kinase inhibitors covered in this review period, from January, 2014 to February, 2019.
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Table 1. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine bacteria, 2014–2019.
Table 1. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine bacteria, 2014–2019.
CompoundChemical ClassMarine SourceDrug Targets/Inhibitory ActivityReferences
1lipopeptideBacillus megateriump-Akt, p-MAPK, p-GSK-3β[33]
indolocarbazole alkaloidsStreptomyces sp. A65inactive analogue
(0.25–1.91 μM)
6–8indolocabazole derivativesStreptomyces sp. A68PKC-α, BTK, ROCK2
(0.91–1.84 μM)
9–12cyclizidine alkaloidStreptomyces sp. HNA39ROCK2 (7.0–42 μM)[36,37,38,39]
13Indolocarbazole alkaloid indolocarbazole alkaloid indolocarbazole alkaloidStreptomyces sp. DT-A61ROCK2 (5.7 nM)[40]
14Streptomyces sp. DT-A61PKC-α (92 nM)[40]
15Streptomyces sp. A22PKC, BTK, ROCK2
(0.91–1.84 μM)
staurosporine derivativesStreptomyces sp. NB-A13inactive analogue
PKC-θ (0.06–9.43 μM)
22naphthoquinoneStreptomyces sp. XMA39ROCK2 (>20 μM)[43]
Table 2. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine fungi, 2014–2019.
Table 2. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine fungi, 2014–2019.
CompoundChemical ClassMarine SourceDrug Targets/Inhibitory ActivityReferences
23isochromen-6-onePenicillium sp. ZJ27PKnG (76.5 μM)[41]
24alkaloidPenicillium sp.p-p38 MAPK[45]
25polyketideDiaporthe sp. HLY-1IKK[46]
26indole diterpenoidAspergillus flavus OUCMDZ-2205.PKC-β (15.6 μM)[47]
27furan derivativeXylaria sp. (No. 2508)p-Akt, p-ERK1/2[48]
28dihydro-isocoumarinAspergillus sp. SF-5976p-p38 MAPK[49]
29phenylspiro-drimane derivativeStachybotrys sp. KCB13F013p-ERK, p-JNK, p-p38 MAPK[50]
30benzocoumarinAspergillus sp. LF660GSK-3β (0.35 ± 0.04 μM)[51]
31GSK-3β (0.13 ± 0.04 μM)
32GSK-3β (0.20 ± 0.04 μM)
33lipophilic depsipeptideAlternaria sp. SF-5016p-JNK, p-p38 MAPK[52]
34citreohybridonolToxicocladosporium sp. SF-5699p-p38 MAPK[53]
352-methyl-hydroquinonePenicillium sp. HL-85-ALS5-R004p-Akt, p-ERK1/2[54]
36isopyrrolo-naphthoquinoneBiscogniauxia mediterraneaGSK-3β (8.04 μM)[55]
37polyketidesPenicillium sp. SF-5629p-p38 MAPK[56]
38Oidiodendron griseum UBOCC-A-114129CLK1 (15.6 g/mL)[58]
Table 3. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine soft coral, 2014–2019.
Table 3. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine soft coral, 2014–2019.
CompoundChemical ClassMarine SourceDrug Targets/Inhibitory ActivityReferences
39simple sulfone alcoholCladiella australisMAPK, AKt[59]
40eunicellin diterpenoidCladiella pachycladosEGFR[60]
Table 4. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine animals, 2014–2019.
Table 4. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine animals, 2014–2019.
CompoundChemical ClassMarine SourceDrug Targets/Inhibitory ActivityReferences
41–42spiroketalsmarine ascidian genus DidemnumCDK5, CK1, DyrK1A, GSK-3 (10 μg/mL)[62]
43–52purine alkaloidsmarine tunicate Symplegma rubra CDK5, CK1, DyrK1A, GSK-3 (10 μg/mL)[63]
53saponin sulfatesea cucumberPAK1 (1.2 μM)
LIMK (60 μM)
AKT (59 μM)
54anthraquinone derivativemarine echinoderm Comanthus sp.IGF1-R (5 μM)
FAK (8.4 μM)
EGFR (4 μM)
Table 5. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine algae, 2014–2019.
Table 5. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine algae, 2014–2019.
CompoundChemical ClassMarine SourceDrug Targets/Inhibitory ActivityReferences
55bromophenolred alga Rhodomelaceae confervoides.RTKs, p-PKB/Akt[68,69]
56phlorotanninbrown seaweed Eisenia bicyclisp-AKt[70]
57carotenoidbrown alga wakame seaweeds wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) and kombu (Laminaria japonica)AKt, MAPK[71,72,73]
58bromophenolred alga Polysiphonia morrowiip-ERK[74]
59–60lipopoly-saccharidebrown seaweed marine alga (Eisenia bicyclis)p-ERK1/2, p-JNK[75]
61acyclic depsipeptidemarine cyanobacterium Moorea producens (formerly Lyngbya majuscula)RTKs[76]
62 abromo-honaucinmarine cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya crossbyanaAKt, ERK[77,78]
63 bcyclic depsipeptidemarine cyanobacterium Moorea producensJNK[79,80]
64cyclic depsipeptidemarine cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya sp.VEGFA/VEGFR2[81,82]
a This molecule is synthetic but designed based on a marine natural product. b Hoiamide A is JNK activator.
Table 6. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine sponges, 2014–2019.
Table 6. A summary of kinase inhibitors isolated from marine sponges, 2014–2019.
CompoundChemical ClassMarine SourceDrug Targets/Inhibitory ActivityReferences
65bromopyrrole alkaloidCallyspongia sp. (CMB-01152).CK1, CK5, GSK3β[84]
66indole alkaloidsHyrtios erectaSTK (24.5 μg/mL)[88]
67STK (13.6 μg/mL)
68STK (18.6 μg/mL)
69sipholane triterpenoidCallyspongia siphonella.p-Brk, p-FAK[89]
70indole alkaloidGeodia barrettiRIPK2 (8.0 μM)
CAMK1a (5.7 μM)
SIK2 (6.1 μM)
71diarylpyrazineHamacanthinsPDGF-Rβ (0.02 μM)[93]
72tryptoline analoguesFascaplysinopsis sp.CDK4/D1 (0.35 μM)[94,95,96,97,98]
73 aCDK4 (10 μM)
74 aalkaloid derivativeFascaplysinopsis sp.PI3K/Akt[99]
75bisindole alkaloidsTopsentia pachastrelloidesMRSA PK (60 nM)[100]
76MRSA PK (16 nM)
77MRSA PK (1.4 nM)
78macrocyclic oxaquinolizidine alkaloidXestospongia species.PI3K, Akt[101]
79–84bromopyrrole alkaloidsStylissa massa and Stylissa flabelliformisGSK-3, DYRK1A, CK-1
(0.6–6.4 μM)
85adociaquinone derivativesXestospongia sp.inactive analogue[108]
86CDK9/cyclin T (3 μM)
87–88CDK5/p25 (6 μM)
89cyclic peptideAmphibleptulaGSK-3β[109]
90polycyclic quinonePetrosiahexokinase II[110]
91halogenated alkaloidAcanthostrongylophora ingensCK1δ/ε (6 μM)[111]
92isomalabaricane triterpenoidJaspis stelliferaPI3K, Akt[112]
93–95guanidine alkaloidsSmenospongia sp.CDK2/6[113]
96–972-aminoimidazolone alkaloidsLeucetta and ClathrinaDYRKs (0.17 ~ 0.88 μM)
CLKs (0.32 ~ 8.6 μM)
98–103manzamine alkaloidsAcanthostrongylophora sp.MtSK[115,116]
104bis-indole alkaloidTopsentia pach astrelloidesMRSA PK[117]
105sphingolipidPachastrissa sp.SphK1 (7.5 μM)
SphK1 (20.1 μM)
106polyfused-benzofuranAka coralliphagaPIK-α (100 nM)[122]
a This molecule is synthetic but designed based on a marine natural product.
Table 7. Preclinical and clinical status of some kinase inhibitors, and bryostatin 1, with marine-derived natural product origins a,b.
Table 7. Preclinical and clinical status of some kinase inhibitors, and bryostatin 1, with marine-derived natural product origins a,b.
Compound Name (Trademark)TargetMarine SourceChemical ClassCompany or InstitutionTherapeutic AreaStatusReferences
plitidepsin (aplidin, 107)VEGFR1ascidiandepsipeptidePharmaMarmultiple myelomaFDA-approved (2018)[124,125,126,127]
midostaurin (108)PKC-α, KIT, FLT3, VEGFR2, PDGFR-βascidian / bacteriaindolocarbazoleNovartisacute myeloid leukemia, FDA-approved (2017)[124,127,128]
lestaurtinib (CEP-701, 109)Flt-3, JAK-2ascidian / bacteriaindolocarbazoleKyowa kirinacute lymphoblast leukemiaPhase III[127,130]
enzastaurin (LY317615, 110)PKCβ, Class I PI3Kascidian / bacteriaindolocarbazoleEli Lillydiffuse large B cell lymphomaPhase III[127,131]
kahalalide F (PM-92102, 111)EGFRmollusk and algaetridecapeptidePharmaMar
cancarPhase II (terminated)[127,132,133]
isokahalalide F (PM02734, elisidepsin, 112)ErbB2mollusk and algaetridecapeptidePharmaMarcancerPhase I (terminated)[14,124,127]
7-hydroxystaurosporine (UCN-01, 113)Chk2, PDPK1, Chk1 PKCascidian / bacteriaindolocarbazoleKyowa kirincancerPhase II (terminated)[127,134,135,]
CEP-2563 (114, prodrug of CEP-751)Trk-A, Trk-B, Trk-Cascidian / bacteriaindolocarbazoleCephaloncancerPhase I (terminated)[14,124,127]
CEP-1347 (KT7515; 115)MAP3K11ascidianindolocarbazoleTevaParkinson’s Phase III (terminated)[14,124,127]
staurosporine (AM-2282, 116)PKC, JAK2, CamKIIIascidian / bacteriaindolocarbazoleKyowa Hakko Kirin (originator)multiple myelomaPhase II (terminated)[127,136]
bryostatin 1 b (117)PKCbryozoanmacrocytic lactoneNeurotrope BioscienceAlzheimer’s Phase II (terminated)[127,137,138,139]
a Staurosporine and several derivatives are included here. These compounds have been derived from terrestrial soil bacteria, ascidians and marine bacteria. b bryostatin 1 is a Protein Kinase C (PKC) activator.

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