Special Issue "Natural Product Pharmacology"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 16091
Interests: medicinal plants, phytochemistry, pharmaceutical biology, natural product biotechnology, bioactivity, phenolics, alkaloids, terpenoids
Live 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 but sometimes in a harmful way.
Embraced by a 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 sch as alkaloids, and finally oligo- and polymeric structures, such as tannins, polyprenoids, branched carbohydrates, including conjugates between different classes.
They are usually playing 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 has been always exploited by humanity for various purposes.
Traditionally, most of these compounds are obtained from medicinal plants, but other sources have been also 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 of NP-based drugs have reached a major position in medicine, for example the Nobel-wining artemisinin, several essential cytostatic drugs, cardiac glycosides, to name just a few examples. In a wider meaning, even such everyday drugs as antibiotics or statins have originally been 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 astringent 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 ways and digestive tract disorders, and many others.
This Special Issue is devoted to gathering and dissemination of high-quality studies on natural products. All classes natural products from natural sources are welcome, including terrestrial and aquatic plants, animals, and fungi, provided they are not the established drugs such as known statins or antibiotics. The semisynthetic derivatives, products of biomimetic syntheses, and analogs of NPs are outside the SI scope.
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 bioacivity related to human health is within the scope, provided the reported potency was adequate and molecular mechanisms of action was addressed. Pharmacokinetic investigations on bioavailability of natural products from various matrices and various ways 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 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 the purified, fully identified compounds or selectively enriched fractions. Extracts screened only with general quantitative methods, such as total content of a NP class (total polyphenols, flavonols, alkaloids etc) will not be accepted.
Similarly, the studied activity must not be limited to the 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. The 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