Special Issue "Alkaloids—Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Medicinal Uses"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)
Prof. Dr. Michael Wink
Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Heidelberg University, Im Neuenheimer Feld 364, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 06221 544881
Fax: +49 6221 544884
Interests: phytochemistry, molecular pharmacology of medicinal and toxic plants, alkaloids, evolution, chemical ecology
Alkaloids are secondary metabolites, which carry one or several nitrogen atoms, mostly in their ring structures. More than 30000 different alkaloid structures have been found in Nature. Most of them derive from amino acid precursors, such as phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, lysine, arginine, and ornithine.
Alkaloids have evolved in nature as defence substances against herbivores, and to a lesser degree against microbes or competing plants. As a consequence, most alkaloids show a pronounced toxicity. Many alkaloids interact with elements of neuronal signal transduction, such as ion channels; ion pumps; neurotransmitter receptors; enzymes, which degrade neurotransmitters; and transporters. Cytotoxic alkaloids often interfere with DNA (via alkylation or intercalation) and microtubules and induce apoptosis.
As a consequence, plants with alkaloids are either known as toxic plants or as medicinal plants, because they can interfere with molecular targets that are relevant in health conditions. For example, morphine is still used as an analgetic drug; vinblastine, paclitaxel, and camptothecin as antitumor drugs; and galantamine and physostigmine as inhibitors of acetylcholine esterase.
The use of alkaloids in medicine (in the treatment of cancer, parasitic diseases, pathogenic bacteria, and neuronal disorders) and even in agriculture is an exciting field, because many alkaloids have not yet been discovered, and in most cases their exact mode of action has not been elucidated. New tools, such as Next Generation Sequencing, RNASeq, and high-resolution microscopy, offer the possibility to understand the activity of alkaloids at the DNA level.
This Special Issue offers a platform for all scientists working on alkaloids and hopefully will become an important source of new information.
Prof. Dr. Michael Wink
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Alkaloids: phytochemistry & analytics
- molecular modes of action
- applications in medicine
- evolution of alkaloids