Special Issue "Natural Product Pharmacology 2.0"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2023) | Viewed by 5215
Interests: medicinal plants; phytochemistry; pharmaceutical biology; natural product biotechnology; bioactivity; phenolics; alkaloids; terpenoids
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Interests: pharmacogenomics; diet-gene interactions; energy metabolism; microbiome; botanical products; mitochondria; phenolics; cannabinoids; fungi; fermentation; protein isolate
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Nature is a vast source of chemical compounds that are produced in various organisms in significant amounts, accumulated, and sometimes excreted to influence other organisms' function, sometimes in a beneficial way but other times in a harmful way.
Embraced by the broad term of “natural products”, they include molecules of various sizes and complexity, from simple monoterpenoid hydrocarbons through more elaborate specialized metabolites such as steroids, polyphenols, nitrogen compounds such as alkaloids and, finally, oligo- and polymeric structures, such as tannins, polyprenoids, and branched carbohydrates, including conjugates between different classes.
They usually play important roles in stress responses and protection against natural enemies and other challenges. These unique roles are still not fully understood, but the enormous diversity of structures and activities have been always exploited by humanity for various purposes.
Traditionally, most of these compounds are obtained from medicinal plants, but other sources have also been used both in traditional or folk and in official pharmacotherapy. An important emerging source of novel and highly active NPs are marine organisms belonging to several kingdoms.
Some NP-based drugs have reached a major position in medicine, for example, the Nobel-wining artemisinin, several essential cytostatic drugs, and cardiac glycosides, to name just a few examples. In a wider meaning, even such everyday drugs as antibiotics or statins were originally natural products isolated from fungi or prokaryotes. There are also numerous examples of natural drugs with wide use in self-healing, such as tannins used as astringents against bleeding, skin inflammation, wound healing, and diarrhea; bitter compounds for digestive complaints; isoflavones and other phytoestrogens used in alleviation of menopause-related complaints; essential oils used in respiratory way and digestive tract disorders; and many others.
This Special Issue is devoted to gathering and disseminating high-quality studies on natural products. All classes of natural products from natural sources are welcome, including terrestrial and aquatic plants, animals, and fungi, provided they are not established drugs such as known statins or antibiotics. The semisynthetic derivatives, products of biomimetic syntheses, and analogs of NPs are outside the scope of the SI.
Papers involving new or less studied compounds/mixtures demonstrating high activity as well as novel properties of well-known substances are welcome. Any kind of bioactivity related to human health is within the SI’s scope, provided the reported potency is adequate and molecular mechanisms of action are addressed. Pharmacokinetic investigations on the bioavailability of natural products from various matrices and various modes of administration are encouraged, too.
In silico studies accompanying in vitro or in vivo experiments are also very welcome, including molecular docking, modeling, pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic predictions, network pharmacology, etc. However, a critical interpretation and discussion of the employed in silico models is essential.
Comprehensive critical reviews on the recent developments and perspectives of various areas of natural products pharmacology will be considered, too. However, it is recommended to send a proposal containing a suggested title, abstract, and table of contents to the Guest Editor before final submission. The review can be focused on a certain class of NPs with various activities, or on a type of activity or signaling pathway of various NPs.
Studies with crude extracts can be considered only if the material is thoroughly characterized with state-of-the art techniques and the results are sufficiently sound in terms of therapeutic relevance. However, preference will be given to purified, fully identified compounds or selectively enriched fractions. Extracts screened only with general quantitative methods, such as total content of an NP class (total polyphenols, flavonols, alkaloids, etc.) will not be accepted.
Similarly, the studied activity must not be limited to routine in vitro testing with little physiological relevance, such as antioxidant, chelating, in vitro enzyme inhibition, non-quantitative antimicrobial tests, or others of this kind. Studies on animals with well-developed brains such as vertebrates or cephalopods must be ethical and guarantee an important progress in NP pharmacology for human benefit. In general, in vitro or in vivo experiments should not rely solely on superficial screening without insight into the molecular mechanisms of action.
Dr. Adam Matkowski
Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky
Manuscript Submission Information
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- natural products
- marine organisms
- signaling pathways
- molecular targets