Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Identification of New CTX Analogues in Fish from the Madeira and Selvagens Archipelagos by Neuro-2a CBA and LC-HRMS
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(4), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20040236 - 29 Mar 2022
Abstract
Ciguatera Poisoning (CP) is caused by consumption of fish or invertebrates contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs). Presently CP is a public concern in some temperate regions, such as Macaronesia (North-Eastern Atlantic Ocean). Toxicity analysis was performed to characterize the fish species that can accumulate [...] Read more.
Ciguatera Poisoning (CP) is caused by consumption of fish or invertebrates contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs). Presently CP is a public concern in some temperate regions, such as Macaronesia (North-Eastern Atlantic Ocean). Toxicity analysis was performed to characterize the fish species that can accumulate CTXs and improve understanding of the ciguatera risk in this area. For that, seventeen fish specimens comprising nine species were captured from coastal waters inMadeira and Selvagens Archipelagos. Toxicity was analysed by screening CTX-like toxicity with the neuroblastoma cell-based assay (neuro-2a CBA). Afterwards, the four most toxic samples were analysed with liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS). Thirteen fish specimens presented CTX-like toxicity in their liver, but only four of these in their muscle. The liver of one specimen of Muraena augusti presented the highest CTX-like toxicity (0.270 ± 0.121 µg of CTX1B equiv·kg−1). Moreover, CTX analogues were detected with LC-HRMS, for M. augusti and Gymnothorax unicolor. The presence of three CTX analogues was identified: C-CTX1, which had been previously described in the area; dihydro-CTX2, which is reported in the area for the first time; a putative new CTX m/z 1127.6023 ([M+NH4]+) named as putative C-CTX-1109, and gambieric acid A. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Phycotoxins)
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Article
Unveiling the Chemical Diversity of the Deep-Sea Sponge Characella pachastrelloides
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20010052 - 05 Jan 2022
Abstract
Sponges are at the forefront of marine natural product research. In the deep sea, extreme conditions have driven secondary metabolite pathway evolution such that we might expect deep-sea sponges to yield a broad range of unique natural products. Here, we investigate the chemodiversity [...] Read more.
Sponges are at the forefront of marine natural product research. In the deep sea, extreme conditions have driven secondary metabolite pathway evolution such that we might expect deep-sea sponges to yield a broad range of unique natural products. Here, we investigate the chemodiversity of a deep-sea tetractinellid sponge, Characella pachastrelloides, collected from ~800 m depth in Irish waters. First, we analyzed the MS/MS data obtained from fractions of this sponge on the GNPS public online platform to guide our exploration of its chemodiversity. Novel glycolipopeptides named characellides were previously isolated from the sponge and herein cyanocobalamin, a manufactured form of vitamin B12, not previously found in nature, was isolated in a large amount. We also identified several poecillastrins from the molecular network, a class of polyketide known to exhibit cytotoxicity. Light sensitivity prevented the isolation and characterization of these polyketides, but their presence was confirmed by characteristic NMR and MS signals. Finally, we isolated the new betaine 6-methylhercynine, which contains a unique methylation at C-2 of the imidazole ring. This compound showed potent cytotoxicity towards against HeLa (cervical cancer) cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovering Marine Bioactive Compounds by Molecular Networking)
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Article
Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) to De-Orphanize Marine Molecules: Finding Potential Therapeutic Agents for Neurodegenerative and Cardiovascular Diseases
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20010053 - 05 Jan 2022
Abstract
Computer-aided drug design (CADD) techniques allow the identification of compounds capable of modulating protein functions in pathogenesis-related pathways, which is a promising line on drug discovery. Marine natural products (MNPs) are considered a rich source of bioactive compounds, as the oceans are home [...] Read more.
Computer-aided drug design (CADD) techniques allow the identification of compounds capable of modulating protein functions in pathogenesis-related pathways, which is a promising line on drug discovery. Marine natural products (MNPs) are considered a rich source of bioactive compounds, as the oceans are home to much of the planet’s biodiversity. Biodiversity is directly related to chemodiversity, which can inspire new drug discoveries. Therefore, natural products (NPs) in general, and MNPs in particular, have been used for decades as a source of inspiration for the design of new drugs. However, NPs present both opportunities and challenges. These difficulties can be technical, such as the need to dive or trawl to collect the organisms possessing the compounds, or biological, due to their particular marine habitats and the fact that they can be uncultivable in the laboratory. For all these difficulties, the contributions of CADD can play a very relevant role in simplifying their study, since, for example, no biological sample is needed to carry out an in-silico analysis. Therefore, the amount of natural product that needs to be used in the entire preclinical and clinical study is significantly reduced. Here, we exemplify how this combination between CADD and MNPs can help unlock their therapeutic potential. In this study, using a set of marine invertebrate molecules, we elucidate their possible molecular targets and associated therapeutic potential, establishing a pipeline that can be replicated in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Drugs Research in Spain)
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Article
Bacillimidazoles A−F, Imidazolium-Containing Compounds Isolated from a Marine Bacillus
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(1), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20010043 - 01 Jan 2022
Abstract
Chemical investigations of a marine sponge-associated Bacillus revealed six new imidazolium-containing compounds, bacillimidazoles A–F (16). Previous reports of related imidazolium-containing natural products are rare. Initially unveiled by timsTOF (trapped ion mobility spectrometry) MS data, extensive HRMS and 1D and [...] Read more.
Chemical investigations of a marine sponge-associated Bacillus revealed six new imidazolium-containing compounds, bacillimidazoles A–F (16). Previous reports of related imidazolium-containing natural products are rare. Initially unveiled by timsTOF (trapped ion mobility spectrometry) MS data, extensive HRMS and 1D and 2D NMR analyses enabled the structural elucidation of 16. In addition, a plausible biosynthetic pathway to bacillimidazoles is proposed based on isotopic labeling experiments and invokes the highly reactive glycolytic adduct 2,3-butanedione. Combined, the results of structure elucidation efforts, isotopic labeling studies and bioinformatics suggest that 16 result from a fascinating intersection of primary and secondary metabolic pathways in Bacillus sp. WMMC1349. Antimicrobial assays revealed that, of 16, only compound six displayed discernible antibacterial activity, despite the close structural similarities shared by all six natural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heterocyclic Compounds from Marine Organisms)
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Article
Not Drug-like, but Like Drugs: Cnidaria Natural Products
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20010042 - 30 Dec 2021
Abstract
Phylum Cnidaria has been an excellent source of natural products, with thousands of metabolites identified. Many of these have not been screened in bioassays. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of 5600 Cnidaria natural products (after excluding those known [...] Read more.
Phylum Cnidaria has been an excellent source of natural products, with thousands of metabolites identified. Many of these have not been screened in bioassays. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of 5600 Cnidaria natural products (after excluding those known to derive from microbial symbionts), using a systematic approach based on chemical space, drug-likeness, predicted toxicity, and virtual screens. Previous drug-likeness measures: the rule-of-five, quantitative estimate of drug-likeness (QED), and relative drug likelihoods (RDL) are based on a relatively small number of molecular properties. We augmented this approach using reference drug and toxin data sets defined for 51 predicted molecular properties. Cnidaria natural products overlap with drugs and toxins in this chemical space, although a multivariate test suggests that there are some differences between the groups. In terms of the established drug-likeness measures, Cnidaria natural products have generally lower QED and RDL scores than drugs, with a higher prevalence of metabolites that exceed at least one rule-of-five threshold. An index of drug-likeness that includes predicted toxicity (ADMET-score), however, found that Cnidaria natural products were more favourable than drugs. A measure of the distance of individual Cnidaria natural products to the centre of the drug distribution in multivariate chemical space was related to RDL, ADMET-score, and the number of rule-of-five exceptions. This multivariate similarity measure was negatively correlated with the QED score for the same metabolite, suggesting that the different approaches capture different aspects of the drug-likeness of individual metabolites. The contrasting of different drug similarity measures can help summarise the range of drug potential in the Cnidaria natural product data set. The most favourable metabolites were around 210–265 Da, quite often sesquiterpenes, with a moderate degree of complexity. Virtual screening against cancer-relevant targets found wide evidence of affinities, with Glide scores <−7 in 19% of the Cnidaria natural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reef Ecology and Marine Drug Discovery)
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Article
Characterization of Bioactivities and Biosynthesis of Angucycline/Angucyclinone Derivatives Derived from Gephyromycinifex aptenodytis gen. nov., sp. nov.
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20010034 - 29 Dec 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Strain NJES-13T is the type strain and currently the only species of the newly established actinobacteria genera Aptenodytes in the family Dermatophilaceae isolated from the gut microbiota of the Antarctic emperor penguin. This strain demonstrated excellent bioflocculation activity with bacteria-derived exopolysaccharides (EPSs). [...] Read more.
Strain NJES-13T is the type strain and currently the only species of the newly established actinobacteria genera Aptenodytes in the family Dermatophilaceae isolated from the gut microbiota of the Antarctic emperor penguin. This strain demonstrated excellent bioflocculation activity with bacteria-derived exopolysaccharides (EPSs). Moreover, it produced bioactive angucycline/angucyclinone derivatives (ADs) and contained one type III polyketide synthase (T3PKS), thus demonstrating great potential to produce novel bioactive compounds. However, the low productivity of the potential new AD metabolite was the main obstacle for its chemical structure elucidation. In this study, to increase the concentration of targeted metabolites, the influence of cellular morphology on AD metabolism in strain NJES-13T was determined using glass bead-enhanced fermentation. Based on the cellular ultra-structural observation driven by bacterial EPSs, and quantitative analysis of the targeted metabolites, the successful increasing of the productivity of three AD metabolites was achieved. Afterward, a new frigocyclinone analogue was isolated and then identified as 2-hydroxy-frigocyclinone, as well as two other known ADs named 2-hydroxy-tetrangomycin (2-HT) and gephyromycin (GPM). Three AD metabolites were found to demonstrate different bioactivities. Both C-2 hydroxyl substitutes, 2-hydroxy-tetrangomycin and 2-hydroxy-frigocyclinone, exhibited variable inhibitory activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis and Candida albicans. Moreover, the newly identified 2-hydroxy-frigocyclinone also showed significant cytotoxicity against three tested human-derived cancerous cell lines (HL-60, Bel-7402 and A549), with all obtained IC50 values less than 10 µM. Based on the genetic analysis after genomic mining, the plausible biogenetic pathway of the three bioactive ADs in strain NJES-13T was also proposed. Full article
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Article
Identification and Heterologous Expression of the Kendomycin B Biosynthetic Gene Cluster from Verrucosispora sp. SCSIO 07399
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(12), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19120673 - 26 Nov 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Verrucosispora sp. SCSIO 07399, a rare marine-derived actinomycete, produces a set of ansamycin-like polyketides kendomycin B–D (13) which possess potent antibacterial activities and moderate tumor cytotoxicity. Structurally, kendomycin B–D contain a unique aliphatic macrocyclic ansa scaffold in which the [...] Read more.
Verrucosispora sp. SCSIO 07399, a rare marine-derived actinomycete, produces a set of ansamycin-like polyketides kendomycin B–D (13) which possess potent antibacterial activities and moderate tumor cytotoxicity. Structurally, kendomycin B–D contain a unique aliphatic macrocyclic ansa scaffold in which the highly substituted pyran ring is connected to the quinone moiety. In this work, a type I/type III polyketide synthase (PKS) hybrid biosynthetic gene cluster coding for assembly of kendomycin B (kmy), and covering 33 open reading frames, was identified from Verrucosispora sp. SCSIO 07399. The kmy cluster was found to be essential for kendomycin B biosynthesis as verified by gene disruption and heterologous expression. Correspondingly, a biosynthetic pathway was proposed based on bioinformatics, cluster alignments, and previous research. Additionally, the role of type III PKS for generating the precursor unit 3,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (3,5-DHBA) was demonstrated by chemical complementation, and type I PKS executed the polyketide chain elongation. The kmy cluster was found to contain a positive regulatory gene kmy4 whose regulatory effect was identified using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). These advances shed important new insights into kendomycin B biosynthesis and help to set the foundation for further research aimed at understanding and exploiting the carbacylic ansa scaffold. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Compounds from Marine Streptomyces)
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Article
A Novel Angiotensin-I-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitory Peptide from Takifugu flavidus
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(12), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19120651 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
Alcalase, neutral protease, and pepsin were used to hydrolyze the skin of Takifugu flavidus. The T. flavidus hydrolysates (TFHs) with the maximum degree of hydrolysis (DH) and angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activity were selected and then ultra-filtered to obtain fractions with components of [...] Read more.
Alcalase, neutral protease, and pepsin were used to hydrolyze the skin of Takifugu flavidus. The T. flavidus hydrolysates (TFHs) with the maximum degree of hydrolysis (DH) and angiotensin-I-converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activity were selected and then ultra-filtered to obtain fractions with components of different molecular weights (MWs) (<1, 1–3, 3–10, 10–50, and >50 kDa). The components with MWs < 1 kDa showed the strongest ACE-inhibitory activity with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.58 mg/mL. Purification and identification using semi-preparative liquid chromatography, Sephadex G-15 gel chromatography, RP-HPLC, and LC–MS/MS yielded one new potential ACE-inhibitory peptide, PPLLFAAL (non-competitive suppression mode; IC50 of 28 μmmol·L−1). Molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations indicated that the peptides should bind well to ACE and interact with amino acid residues and the zinc ion at the ACE active site. Furthermore, a short-term assay of antihypertensive activity in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) revealed that PPLLFAAL could significantly decrease the systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of SHRs after intravenous administration. These results suggested that PPLLFAAL may have potential applications in functional foods or pharmaceuticals as an antihypertensive agent. Full article
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Article
Application of Networking Approaches to Assess the Chemical Diversity, Biogeography, and Pharmaceutical Potential of Verongiida Natural Products
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(10), 582; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19100582 - 18 Oct 2021
Abstract
This study provides a review of all isolated natural products (NPs) reported for sponges within the order Verongiida (1960 to May 2020) and includes a comprehensive compilation of their geographic and physico-chemical parameters. Physico-chemical parameters were used in this study to infer pharmacokinetic [...] Read more.
This study provides a review of all isolated natural products (NPs) reported for sponges within the order Verongiida (1960 to May 2020) and includes a comprehensive compilation of their geographic and physico-chemical parameters. Physico-chemical parameters were used in this study to infer pharmacokinetic properties as well as the potential pharmaceutical potential of NPs from this order of marine sponge. In addition, a network analysis for the NPs produced by the Verongiida sponges was applied to systematically explore the chemical space relationships between taxonomy, secondary metabolite and drug score variables, allowing for the identification of differences and correlations within a dataset. The use of scaffold networks as well as bipartite relationship networks provided a platform to explore chemical diversity as well as the use of chemical similarity networks to link pharmacokinetic properties with structural similarity. This study paves the way for future applications of network analysis procedures in the field of natural products for any order or family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Drug Discovery through Computer-Aided Approaches)
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Article
Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile Dampens Cell Migration of Human Neuroblastoma Cells
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(10), 579; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19100579 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a common cancer in childhood, and lethal in its high-risk form, primarily because of its high metastatic potential. Targeting cancer cell migration, and thus preventing metastasis formation, is the rationale for more effective cancer therapy against NB. Previous studies have [...] Read more.
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a common cancer in childhood, and lethal in its high-risk form, primarily because of its high metastatic potential. Targeting cancer cell migration, and thus preventing metastasis formation, is the rationale for more effective cancer therapy against NB. Previous studies have described the leaf extract from Posidonia oceanica marine plant (POE) as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent and inhibitor of cancer cell migration. This study aims to examine the POE anti-migratory role in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and the underlying mechanisms of action. Wound healing and gelatin zymography assays showed that POE at early times inhibits cell migration and reduces pro-MMP-2 release into culture medium. By monitoring expression level of key autophagy markers by Western blot assay, a correlation between POE-induced cell migration inhibition and autophagy activation was demonstrated. Cell morphology and immunofluorescence analyses showed that POE induces neurite formation and neuronal differentiation at later times. These results suggest POE might act against cell migration by triggering early nontoxic autophagy. The POE-induced cellular morphological change toward cell differentiation might contribute to prolonging the phytocomplex anti-migratory effect to later times. Overall, these results encourage future in vivo studies to test POE applicability in neuroblastoma treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Marine Compounds on Cancer Cell Migration and Invasiveness)
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Article
Toxicity Screening of a Gambierdiscus australes Strain from the Western Mediterranean Sea and Identification of a Novel Maitotoxin Analogue
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(8), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19080460 - 15 Aug 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
Dinoflagellate species of the genera Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa are known to produce ciguatera poisoning-associated toxic compounds, such as ciguatoxins, or other toxins, such as maitotoxins. However, many species and strains remain poorly characterized in areas where they were recently identified, such as the [...] Read more.
Dinoflagellate species of the genera Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa are known to produce ciguatera poisoning-associated toxic compounds, such as ciguatoxins, or other toxins, such as maitotoxins. However, many species and strains remain poorly characterized in areas where they were recently identified, such as the western Mediterranean Sea. In previous studies carried out by our research group, a G. australes strain from the Balearic Islands (Mediterranean Sea) presenting MTX-like activity was characterized by LC-MS/MS and LC-HRMS detecting 44-methyl gambierone and gambieric acids C and D. However, MTX1, which is typically found in some G. australes strains from the Pacific Ocean, was not detected. Therefore, this study focuses on the identification of the compound responsible for the MTX-like toxicity in this strain. The G. australes strain was characterized not only using LC-MS instruments but also N2a-guided HPLC fractionation. Following this approach, several toxic compounds were identified in three fractions by LC-MS/MS and HRMS. A novel MTX analogue, named MTX5, was identified in the most toxic fraction, and 44-methyl gambierone and gambieric acids C and D contributed to the toxicity observed in other fractions of this strain. Thus, G. australes from the Mediterranean Sea produces MTX5 instead of MTX1 in contrast to some strains of the same species from the Pacific Ocean. No CTX precursors were detected, reinforcing the complexity of the identification of CTXs precursors in these regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Methods for Marine Toxins Detection and Quantification)
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Article
Identification of a New Antimicrobial, Desertomycin H, Utilizing a Modified Crowded Plate Technique
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(8), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19080424 - 27 Jul 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
The antibiotic-resistant bacteria-associated infections are a major global healthcare threat. New classes of antimicrobial compounds are urgently needed as the frequency of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microbes continues to rise. Recent metagenomic data have demonstrated that there is still biosynthetic potential encoded in [...] Read more.
The antibiotic-resistant bacteria-associated infections are a major global healthcare threat. New classes of antimicrobial compounds are urgently needed as the frequency of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microbes continues to rise. Recent metagenomic data have demonstrated that there is still biosynthetic potential encoded in but transcriptionally silent in cultivatable bacterial genomes. However, the culture conditions required to identify and express silent biosynthetic gene clusters that yield natural products with antimicrobial activity are largely unknown. Here, we describe a new antibiotic discovery scheme, dubbed the modified crowded plate technique (mCPT), that utilizes complex microbial interactions to elicit antimicrobial production from otherwise silent biosynthetic gene clusters. Using the mCPT as part of the antibiotic crowdsourcing educational program Tiny EarthTM, we isolated over 1400 antibiotic-producing microbes, including 62 showing activity against multidrug-resistant pathogens. The natural product extracts generated from six microbial isolates showed potent activity against vancomycin-intermediate resistant Staphylococcus aureus. We utilized a targeted approach that coupled mass spectrometry data with bioactivity, yielding a new macrolactone class of metabolite, desertomycin H. In this study, we successfully demonstrate a concept that significantly increased our ability to quickly and efficiently identify microbes capable of the silent antibiotic production. Full article
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Article
Monitoring the Emergence of Algal Toxins in Shellfish: First Report on Detection of Brevetoxins in French Mediterranean Mussels
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(7), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19070393 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
In France, four groups of lipophilic toxins are currently regulated: okadaic acid/dinophysistoxins, pectenotoxins, yessotoxins and azaspiracids. However, many other families of toxins exist, which can be emerging toxins. Emerging toxins include both toxins recently detected in a specific area of France but not [...] Read more.
In France, four groups of lipophilic toxins are currently regulated: okadaic acid/dinophysistoxins, pectenotoxins, yessotoxins and azaspiracids. However, many other families of toxins exist, which can be emerging toxins. Emerging toxins include both toxins recently detected in a specific area of France but not regulated yet (e.g., cyclic imines, ovatoxins) or toxins only detected outside of France (e.g., brevetoxins). To anticipate the introduction to France of these emerging toxins, a monitoring program called EMERGTOX was set up along the French coasts in 2018. The single-laboratory validation of this approach was performed according to the NF V03-110 guidelines by building an accuracy profile. Our specific, reliable and sensitive approach allowed us to detect brevetoxins (BTX-2 and/or BTX-3) in addition to the lipophilic toxins already regulated in France. Brevetoxins were detected for the first time in French Mediterranean mussels (Diana Lagoon, Corsica) in autumn 2018, and regularly every year since during the same seasons (autumn, winter). The maximum content found was 345 µg (BTX-2 + BTX-3)/kg in mussel digestive glands in November 2020. None were detected in oysters sampled at the same site. In addition, a retroactive analysis of preserved mussels demonstrated the presence of BTX-3 in mussels from the same site sampled in November 2015. The detection of BTX could be related to the presence in situ at the same period of four Karenia species and two raphidophytes, which all could be potential producers of these toxins. Further investigations are necessary to understand the origin of these toxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Methods for Marine Toxins Detection and Quantification)
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Article
Untargeted Metabolomics Approach for the Discovery of Environment-Related Pyran-2-Ones Chemodiversity in a Marine-Sourced Penicillium restrictum
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(7), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19070378 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
Very little is known about chemical interactions between fungi and their mollusc host within marine environments. Here, we investigated the metabolome of a Penicillium restrictum MMS417 strain isolated from the blue mussel Mytilus edulis collected on the Loire estuary, France. Following the OSMAC [...] Read more.
Very little is known about chemical interactions between fungi and their mollusc host within marine environments. Here, we investigated the metabolome of a Penicillium restrictum MMS417 strain isolated from the blue mussel Mytilus edulis collected on the Loire estuary, France. Following the OSMAC approach with the use of 14 culture media, the effect of salinity and of a mussel-derived medium on the metabolic expression were analysed using HPLC-UV/DAD-HRMS/MS. An untargeted metabolomics study was performed using principal component analysis (PCA), orthogonal projection to latent structure discriminant analysis (O-PLSDA) and molecular networking (MN). It highlighted some compounds belonging to sterols, macrolides and pyran-2-ones, which were specifically induced in marine conditions. In particular, a high chemical diversity of pyran-2-ones was found to be related to the presence of mussel extract in the culture medium. Mass spectrometry (MS)- and UV-guided purification resulted in the isolation of five new natural fungal pyran-2-one derivatives—5,6-dihydro-6S-hydroxymethyl-4-methoxy-2H-pyran-2-one (1), (6S, 1’R, 2’S)-LL-P880β (3), 5,6-dihydro-4-methoxy-6S-(1’S, 2’S-dihydroxy pent-3’(E)-enyl)-2H-pyran-2-one (4), 4-methoxy-6-(1’R, 2’S-dihydroxy pent-3’(E)-enyl)-2H-pyran-2-one (6) and 4-methoxy-2H-pyran-2-one (7)—together with the known (6S, 1’S, 2’S)-LL-P880β (2), (1’R, 2’S)-LL-P880γ (5), 5,6-dihydro-4-methoxy-2H-pyran-2-one (8), (6S, 1’S, 2’R)-LL-P880β (9), (6S, 1’S)-pestalotin (10), 1’R-dehydropestalotin (11) and 6-pentyl-4-methoxy-2H-pyran-2-one (12) from the mussel-derived culture medium extract. The structures of 1-12 were determined by 1D- and 2D-MMR experiments as well as high-resolution tandem MS, ECD and DP4 calculations. Some of these compounds were evaluated for their cytotoxic, antibacterial, antileishmanial and in-silico PTP1B inhibitory activities. These results illustrate the utility in using host-derived media for the discovery of new natural products. Full article
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Article
Agelasine Diterpenoids and Cbl-b Inhibitory Ageliferins from the Coralline Demosponge Astrosclera willeyana
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(7), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19070361 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
An extract of the coralline demosponge Astrosclera willeyana inhibited the ubiquitin ligase activity of the immunomodulatory protein Cbl-b. The bioassay-guided separation of the extract provided ten active compounds, including three new N-methyladenine-containing diterpenoids, agelasines W–Y (13), a new [...] Read more.
An extract of the coralline demosponge Astrosclera willeyana inhibited the ubiquitin ligase activity of the immunomodulatory protein Cbl-b. The bioassay-guided separation of the extract provided ten active compounds, including three new N-methyladenine-containing diterpenoids, agelasines W–Y (13), a new bromopyrrole alkaloid, N(1)-methylisoageliferin (4), and six known ageliferin derivatives (510). The structures of the new compounds were elucidated from their spectroscopic and spectrometric data, including IR, HRESIMS, and NMR, and by comparison with spectroscopic data in the literature. While all of the isolated compounds showed Cbl-b inhibitory activities, ageliferins (410) were the most potent metabolites, with IC50 values that ranged from 18 to 35 μM. Full article
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Article
Model-Free Approach for the Configurational Analysis of Marine Natural Products
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(6), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19060283 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 5
Abstract
The NMR-based configurational analysis of complex marine natural products is still not a routine task. Different NMR parameters are used for the assignment of the relative configuration: NOE/ROE, homo- and heteronuclear J couplings as well as anisotropic parameters. The combined distance geometry (DG) [...] Read more.
The NMR-based configurational analysis of complex marine natural products is still not a routine task. Different NMR parameters are used for the assignment of the relative configuration: NOE/ROE, homo- and heteronuclear J couplings as well as anisotropic parameters. The combined distance geometry (DG) and distance bounds driven dynamics (DDD) method allows a model-free approach for the determination of the relative configuration that is invariant to the choice of an initial starting structure and does not rely on comparisons with (DFT) calculated structures. Here, we will discuss the configurational analysis of five complex marine natural products or synthetic derivatives thereof: the cis-palau’amine derivatives 1a and 1b, tetrabromostyloguanidine (1c), plakilactone H (2), and manzamine A (3). The certainty of configurational assignments is evaluated in view of the accuracy of the NOE/ROE data available. These case studies will show the prospective breadth of application of the DG/DDD method. Full article
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Article
N-Amino-l-Proline Methyl Ester from an Australian Fish Gut-Derived Fungus: Challenging the Distinction between Natural Product and Artifact
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(3), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19030151 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 6
Abstract
Further investigation into a fish gut-derived fungus Evlachovaea sp. CMB-F563, previously reported to produce the unprecedented Schiff base prolinimines A–B (12), revealed a new cryptic natural product, N-amino-l-proline methyl ester (5)—only the second reported [...] Read more.
Further investigation into a fish gut-derived fungus Evlachovaea sp. CMB-F563, previously reported to produce the unprecedented Schiff base prolinimines A–B (12), revealed a new cryptic natural product, N-amino-l-proline methyl ester (5)—only the second reported natural occurrence of an N-amino-proline, and the first from a microbial source. To enable these investigations, we developed a highly sensitive analytical derivitization methodology, using 2,4-dinitrobenzaldehyde (2,4-DNB) to cause a rapid in situ transformation of 5 to the Schiff base 9, with the latter more readily detectable by UHPLC-DAD (400 nm) and HPLC-MS analyses. Moreover, we demonstrate that during cultivation 5 is retained in fungal mycelia, and it is only when solvent extraction disrupts mycelia that 5 is released to come in contact with the furans 78 (which are themselves produced by thermal transformation of carbohydrates during media autoclaving prior to fungal inoculation). Significantly, on contact, 5 undergoes a spontaneous condensation with 78 to yield the Schiff base prolinimines 12, respectively. Observations made during this study prompted us to reflect on what it is to be a natural product (i.e., 5), versus an artifact (i.e., 12), versus a media component (i.e., 78). Full article
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Article
Bioactive Steroids from the Red Sea Soft Coral Sinularia polydactyla
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(12), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18120632 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 8
Abstract
Six new (1, 2, 6, 8, 13, and 20) and twenty previously isolated (35, 7, 912, 1419, and 2126) steroids featuring thirteen different [...] Read more.
Six new (1, 2, 6, 8, 13, and 20) and twenty previously isolated (35, 7, 912, 1419, and 2126) steroids featuring thirteen different carbocycle motifs were isolated from the organic extract of the soft coral Sinularia polydactyla collected from the Hurghada reef in the Red Sea. The structures and the relative configurations of the isolated natural products have been determined based on extensive analysis of their NMR and MS data. The cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic, and neuroprotective activity of compounds 37, 912, 1420, and 2226, as well as their effect on androgen receptor-regulated transcription was evaluated in vitro in human tumor and non-cancerous cells. Steroids 22 and 23 showed significant cytotoxicity in the low micromolar range against the HeLa and MCF7 cancer cell lines, while migration of endothelial cells was inhibited by compounds 11, 12, 22, and 23 at 20 µM. The results of the androgen receptor (AR) reporter assay showed that compound 11 exhibited the strongest inhibition of AR at 10 µM, while it is noteworthy that steroids 10, 16, and 20 displayed increased inhibition of AR with decreasing concentrations. Additionally, compounds 11 and 23 showed neuroprotective activity on neuron-like SH-SY5Y cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Natural Products from the Red Sea)
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Article
Structure Elucidation and Functional Studies of a Novel β-hairpin Antimicrobial Peptide from the Marine Polychaeta Capitella teleta
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(12), 620; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18120620 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Endogenous antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are evolutionary ancient molecular factors of innate immunity that play a key role in host defense. Among the most active and stable under physiological conditions AMPs are the peptides of animal origin that adopt a β-hairpin conformation stabilized by [...] Read more.
Endogenous antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are evolutionary ancient molecular factors of innate immunity that play a key role in host defense. Among the most active and stable under physiological conditions AMPs are the peptides of animal origin that adopt a β-hairpin conformation stabilized by disulfide bridges. In this study, a novel BRICHOS-domain related AMP from the marine polychaeta Capitella teleta, named capitellacin, was produced as the recombinant analogue and investigated. The mature capitellacin exhibits high homology with the known β-hairpin AMP family—tachyplesins and polyphemusins from the horseshoe crabs. The β-hairpin structure of the recombinant capitellacin was proved by CD and NMR spectroscopy. In aqueous solution the peptide exists as monomeric right-handed twisted β-hairpin and its structure does not reveal significant amphipathicity. Moreover, the peptide retains this conformation in membrane environment and incorporates into lipid bilayer. Capitellacin exhibits a strong antimicrobial activity in vitro against a wide panel of bacteria including extensively drug-resistant strains. In contrast to other known β-hairpin AMPs, this peptide acts apparently via non-lytic mechanism at concentrations inhibiting bacterial growth. The molecular mechanism of the peptide antimicrobial action does not seem to be related to the inhibition of bacterial translation therefore other molecular targets may be assumed. The reduced cytotoxicity against human cells and high antibacterial cell selectivity as compared to tachyplesin-1 make it an attractive candidate compound for an anti-infective drug design. Full article
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Review

Review
What Was Old Is New Again: The Pennate Diatom Haslea ostrearia (Gaillon) Simonsen in the Multi-Omic Age
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(4), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20040234 - 29 Mar 2022
Abstract
The marine pennate diatom Haslea ostrearia has long been known for its characteristic blue pigment marennine, which is responsible for the greening of invertebrate gills, a natural phenomenon of great importance for the oyster industry. For two centuries, this taxon was considered unique; [...] Read more.
The marine pennate diatom Haslea ostrearia has long been known for its characteristic blue pigment marennine, which is responsible for the greening of invertebrate gills, a natural phenomenon of great importance for the oyster industry. For two centuries, this taxon was considered unique; however, the recent description of a new blue Haslea species revealed unsuspected biodiversity. Marennine-like pigments are natural blue dyes that display various biological activities—e.g., antibacterial, antioxidant and antiproliferative—with a great potential for applications in the food, feed, cosmetic and health industries. Regarding fundamental prospects, researchers use model organisms as standards to study cellular and physiological processes in other organisms, and there is a growing and crucial need for more, new and unconventional model organisms to better correspond to the diversity of the tree of life. The present work, thus, advocates for establishing H. ostrearia as a new model organism by presenting its pros and cons—i.e., the interesting aspects of this peculiar diatom (representative of benthic-epiphytic phytoplankton, with original behavior and chemodiversity, controlled sexual reproduction, fundamental and applied-oriented importance, reference genome, and transcriptome will soon be available); it will also present the difficulties encountered before this becomes a reality as it is for other diatom models (the genetics of the species in its infancy, the transformation feasibility to be explored, the routine methods needed to cryopreserve strains of interest). Full article
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Review
Discovery of Marine Natural Products as Promising Antibiotics against Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(3), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20030192 - 04 Mar 2022
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one of the most intractable Gram-negative bacteria, has become a public health threat due to its outer polysaccharide layer, efflux transporter system, and high level of biofilm formation, all of which contribute to multi-drug resistance. Even though it is a [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one of the most intractable Gram-negative bacteria, has become a public health threat due to its outer polysaccharide layer, efflux transporter system, and high level of biofilm formation, all of which contribute to multi-drug resistance. Even though it is a pathogen of the highest concern, the status of the antibiotic development pipeline is unsatisfactory. In this review, we summarize marine natural products (MNPs) isolated from marine plants, animals, and microorganisms which possess unique structures and promising antibiotic activities against P. aeruginosa. In the last decade, nearly 80 such MNPs, ranging from polyketides to alkaloids, peptides, and terpenoids, have been discovered. Representative compounds exhibited impressive in vitro anti-P. aeruginosa activities with MIC values in the single-digit nanomolar range and in vivo efficacy in infectious mouse models. For some of the compounds, the preliminary structure-activity-relationship (SAR) and anti-bacterial mechanisms of selected compounds were introduced. Compounds that can disrupt biofilm formation or membrane integrity displayed potent inhibition of multi-resistant clinical P. aeruginosa isolates and could be considered as lead compounds for future development. Challenges on how to translate hits into useful candidates for clinical development are also proposed and discussed. Full article
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Review
An Updated Review of Tetrodotoxin and Its Peculiarities
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(1), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20010047 - 03 Jan 2022
Cited by 3
Abstract
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a crystalline, weakly basic, colorless organic substance and is one of the most potent marine toxins known. Although TTX was first isolated from pufferfish, it has been found in numerous other marine organisms and a few terrestrial species. Moreover, tetrodotoxication [...] Read more.
Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a crystalline, weakly basic, colorless organic substance and is one of the most potent marine toxins known. Although TTX was first isolated from pufferfish, it has been found in numerous other marine organisms and a few terrestrial species. Moreover, tetrodotoxication is still an important health problem today, as TTX has no known antidote. TTX poisonings were most commonly reported from Japan, Thailand, and China, but today the risk of TTX poisoning is spreading around the world. Recent studies have shown that TTX-containing fish are being found in other regions of the Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. This review aims to summarize pertinent information available to date on the structure, origin, distribution, mechanism of action of TTX and analytical methods used for the detection of TTX, as well as on TTX-containing organisms, symptoms of TTX poisoning, and incidence worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Phycotoxins)
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Review
Novel Alkaloids from Marine Actinobacteria: Discovery and Characterization
Mar. Drugs 2022, 20(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/md20010006 - 22 Dec 2021
Abstract
The marine environment is an excellent resource for natural products with therapeutic potential. Its microbial inhabitants, often associated with other marine organisms, are specialized in the synthesis of bioactive secondary metabolites. Similar to their terrestrial counterparts, marine Actinobacteria are a prevalent source of [...] Read more.
The marine environment is an excellent resource for natural products with therapeutic potential. Its microbial inhabitants, often associated with other marine organisms, are specialized in the synthesis of bioactive secondary metabolites. Similar to their terrestrial counterparts, marine Actinobacteria are a prevalent source of these natural products. Here, we discuss 77 newly discovered alkaloids produced by such marine Actinobacteria between 2017 and mid-2021, as well as the strategies employed in their elucidation. While 12 different classes of alkaloids were unraveled, indoles, diketopiperazines, glutarimides, indolizidines, and pyrroles were most dominant. Discoveries were mainly based on experimental approaches where microbial extracts were analyzed in relation to novel compounds. Although such experimental procedures have proven useful in the past, the methodologies need adaptations to limit the chance of compound rediscovery. On the other hand, genome mining provides a different angle for natural product discovery. While the technology is still relatively young compared to experimental screening, significant improvement has been made in recent years. Together with synthetic biology tools, both genome mining and extract screening provide excellent opportunities for continued drug discovery from marine Actinobacteria. Full article
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Review
Anti-Inflammatory and Anticancer Effects of Microalgal Carotenoids
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(10), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19100531 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 6
Abstract
Acute inflammation is a key component of the immune system’s response to pathogens, toxic agents, or tissue injury, involving the stimulation of defense mechanisms aimed to removing pathogenic factors and restoring tissue homeostasis. However, uncontrolled acute inflammatory response may lead to chronic inflammation, [...] Read more.
Acute inflammation is a key component of the immune system’s response to pathogens, toxic agents, or tissue injury, involving the stimulation of defense mechanisms aimed to removing pathogenic factors and restoring tissue homeostasis. However, uncontrolled acute inflammatory response may lead to chronic inflammation, which is involved in the development of many diseases, including cancer. Nowadays, the need to find new potential therapeutic compounds has raised the worldwide scientific interest to study the marine environment. Specifically, microalgae are considered rich sources of bioactive molecules, such as carotenoids, which are natural isoprenoid pigments with important beneficial effects for health due to their biological activities. Carotenoids are essential nutrients for mammals, but they are unable to synthesize them; instead, a dietary intake of these compounds is required. Carotenoids are classified as carotenes (hydrocarbon carotenoids), such as α- and β-carotene, and xanthophylls (oxygenate derivatives) including zeaxanthin, astaxanthin, fucoxanthin, lutein, α- and β-cryptoxanthin, and canthaxanthin. This review summarizes the present up-to-date knowledge of the anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of microalgal carotenoids both in vitro and in vivo, as well as the latest status of human studies for their potential use in prevention and treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Carotenoids in Inflammation and Cancer)
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Review
Methods in Microbial Biodiscovery
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(9), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19090503 - 03 Sep 2021
Cited by 3
Abstract
This review presents an account of the microbial biodiscovery methodology developed and applied in our laboratory at The University of Queensland, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, with examples drawn from our experiences studying natural products produced by Australian marine-derived (and terrestrial) fungi and bacteria. [...] Read more.
This review presents an account of the microbial biodiscovery methodology developed and applied in our laboratory at The University of Queensland, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, with examples drawn from our experiences studying natural products produced by Australian marine-derived (and terrestrial) fungi and bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Natural Products: An Ongoing Source for New Drug Leads)
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Review
A Soft Spot for Chemistry–Current Taxonomic and Evolutionary Implications of Sponge Secondary Metabolite Distribution
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(8), 448; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19080448 - 04 Aug 2021
Cited by 5
Abstract
Marine sponges are the most prolific marine sources for discovery of novel bioactive compounds. Sponge secondary metabolites are sought-after for their potential in pharmaceutical applications, and in the past, they were also used as taxonomic markers alongside the difficult and homoplasy-prone sponge morphology [...] Read more.
Marine sponges are the most prolific marine sources for discovery of novel bioactive compounds. Sponge secondary metabolites are sought-after for their potential in pharmaceutical applications, and in the past, they were also used as taxonomic markers alongside the difficult and homoplasy-prone sponge morphology for species delineation (chemotaxonomy). The understanding of phylogenetic distribution and distinctiveness of metabolites to sponge lineages is pivotal to reveal pathways and evolution of compound production in sponges. This benefits the discovery rate and yield of bioprospecting for novel marine natural products by identifying lineages with high potential of being new sources of valuable sponge compounds. In this review, we summarize the current biochemical data on sponges and compare the metabolite distribution against a sponge phylogeny. We assess compound specificity to lineages, potential convergences, and suitability as diagnostic phylogenetic markers. Our study finds compound distribution corroborating current (molecular) phylogenetic hypotheses, which include yet unaccepted polyphyly of several demosponge orders and families. Likewise, several compounds and compound groups display a high degree of lineage specificity, which suggests homologous biosynthetic pathways among their taxa, which identifies yet unstudied species of this lineage as promising bioprospecting targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Sponge Biotechnology)
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Review
From Sea to Skin: Is There a Future for Natural Photoprotectants?
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(7), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19070379 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 4
Abstract
In the last few decades, the thinning of the ozone layer due to increased atmospheric pollution has exacerbated the negative effects of excessive exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), and skin cancer has become a major public health concern. In order to prevent [...] Read more.
In the last few decades, the thinning of the ozone layer due to increased atmospheric pollution has exacerbated the negative effects of excessive exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), and skin cancer has become a major public health concern. In order to prevent skin damage, public health advice mainly focuses on the use of sunscreens, along with wearing protective clothing and avoiding sun exposure during peak hours. Sunscreens present on the market are topical formulations that contain a number of different synthetic, organic, and inorganic UVR filters with different absorbance profiles, which, when combined, provide broad UVR spectrum protection. However, increased evidence suggests that some of these compounds cause subtle damage to marine ecosystems. One alternative may be the use of natural products that are produced in a wide range of marine species and are mainly thought to act as a defense against UVR-mediated damage. However, their potential for human photoprotection is largely under-investigated. In this review, attention has been placed on the molecular strategies adopted by marine organisms to counteract UVR-induced negative effects and we provide a broad portrayal of the recent literature concerning marine-derived natural products having potential as natural sunscreens/photoprotectants for human skin. Their chemical structure, UVR absorption properties, and their pleiotropic role as bioactive molecules are discussed. Most studies strongly suggest that these natural products could be promising for use in biocompatible sunscreens and may represent an alternative eco-friendly approach to protect humans against UV-induced skin damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antiphotoaging and Photoprotective Compounds from Marine Organisms)
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Review
Antitumor Profile of Carbon-Bridged Steroids (CBS) and Triterpenoids
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(6), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19060324 - 03 Jun 2021
Cited by 2
Abstract
This review focuses on the rare group of carbon-bridged steroids (CBS) and triterpenoids found in various natural sources such as green, yellow-green, and red algae, marine sponges, soft corals, ascidians, starfish, and other marine invertebrates. In addition, this group of rare lipids is [...] Read more.
This review focuses on the rare group of carbon-bridged steroids (CBS) and triterpenoids found in various natural sources such as green, yellow-green, and red algae, marine sponges, soft corals, ascidians, starfish, and other marine invertebrates. In addition, this group of rare lipids is found in amoebas, fungi, fungal endophytes, and plants. For convenience, the presented CBS and triterpenoids are divided into four groups, which include: (a) CBS and triterpenoids containing a cyclopropane group; (b) CBS and triterpenoids with cyclopropane ring in the side chain; (c) CBS and triterpenoids containing a cyclobutane group; (d) CBS and triterpenoids containing cyclopentane, cyclohexane or cycloheptane moieties. For the comparative characterization of the antitumor profile, we have added several semi- and synthetic CBS and triterpenoids, with various additional rings, to identify possible promising sources for pharmacologists and the pharmaceutical industry. About 300 CBS and triterpenoids are presented in this review, which demonstrate a wide range of biological activities, but the most pronounced antitumor profile. The review summarizes biological activities both determined experimentally and estimated using the well-known PASS software. According to the data obtained, two-thirds of CBS and triterpenoids show moderate activity levels with a confidence level of 70 to 90%; however, one third of these lipids demonstrate strong antitumor activity with a confidence level exceeding 90%. Several CBS and triterpenoids, from different lipid groups, demonstrate selective action on different types of tumor cells such as renal cancer, sarcoma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, lymphocytic leukemia, myeloid leukemia, liver cancer, and genitourinary cancer with varying degrees of confidence. In addition, the review presents graphical images of the antitumor profile of both individual CBS and triterpenoids groups and individual compounds. Full article
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Review
Microalgae n-3 PUFAs Production and Use in Food and Feed Industries
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19020113 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 21
Abstract
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), and especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential compounds for human health. They have been proven to act positively on a panel of diseases and have interesting anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer properties. For these [...] Read more.
N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs), and especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential compounds for human health. They have been proven to act positively on a panel of diseases and have interesting anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer properties. For these reasons, they are receiving more and more attention in recent years, especially future food or feed development. EPA and DHA come mainly from marine sources like fish or seaweed. Unfortunately, due to global warming, these compounds are becoming scarce for humans because of overfishing and stock reduction. Although increasing in recent years, aquaculture appears insufficient to meet the increasing requirements of these healthy molecules for humans. One alternative resides in the cultivation of microalgae, the initial producers of EPA and DHA. They are also rich in biochemicals with interesting properties. After defining macro and microalgae, this review synthesizes the current knowledge on n-3 PUFAs regarding health benefits and the challenges surrounding their supply within the environmental context. Microalgae n-3 PUFA production is examined and its synthesis pathways are discussed. Finally, the use of EPA and DHA in food and feed is investigated. This work aims to define better the issues surrounding n-3 PUFA production and supply and the potential of microalgae as a sustainable source of compounds to enhance the food and feed of the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Fatty Acids-2021)
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Review
Marine Pharmacology in 2016–2017: Marine Compounds with Antibacterial, Antidiabetic, Antifungal, Anti-Inflammatory, Antiprotozoal, Antituberculosis and Antiviral Activities; Affecting the Immune and Nervous Systems, and Other Miscellaneous Mechanisms of Action
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/md19020049 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 18
Abstract
The review of the 2016–2017 marine pharmacology literature was prepared in a manner similar as the 10 prior reviews of this series. Preclinical marine pharmacology research during 2016–2017 assessed 313 marine compounds with novel pharmacology reported by a growing number of investigators from [...] Read more.
The review of the 2016–2017 marine pharmacology literature was prepared in a manner similar as the 10 prior reviews of this series. Preclinical marine pharmacology research during 2016–2017 assessed 313 marine compounds with novel pharmacology reported by a growing number of investigators from 54 countries. The peer-reviewed literature reported antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antituberculosis, and antiviral activities for 123 marine natural products, 111 marine compounds with antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities as well as affecting the immune and nervous system, while in contrast 79 marine compounds displayed miscellaneous mechanisms of action which upon further investigation may contribute to several pharmacological classes. Therefore, in 2016–2017, the preclinical marine natural product pharmacology pipeline generated both novel pharmacology as well as potentially new lead compounds for the growing clinical marine pharmaceutical pipeline, and thus sustained with its contributions the global research for novel and effective therapeutic strategies for multiple disease categories. Full article
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Review
Progress in Modern Marine Biomaterials Research
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(12), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18120589 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 28
Abstract
The growing demand for new, sophisticated, multifunctional materials has brought natural structural composites into focus, since they underwent a substantial optimization during long evolutionary selection pressure and adaptation processes. Marine biological materials are the most important sources of both inspiration for biomimetics and [...] Read more.
The growing demand for new, sophisticated, multifunctional materials has brought natural structural composites into focus, since they underwent a substantial optimization during long evolutionary selection pressure and adaptation processes. Marine biological materials are the most important sources of both inspiration for biomimetics and of raw materials for practical applications in technology and biomedicine. The use of marine natural products as multifunctional biomaterials is currently undergoing a renaissance in the modern materials science. The diversity of marine biomaterials, their forms and fields of application are highlighted in this review. We will discuss the challenges, solutions, and future directions of modern marine biomaterialogy using a thorough analysis of scientific sources over the past ten years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Biomaterials 2020)
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