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Special Issue "Chemical Defense in Marine Organisms"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Chiara Lauritano

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Naples, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: marine biotechnology; marine chemical ecology; transcriptomics; gene expression; plankton
Guest Editor
Dr. Adrianna Ianora

Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Villa Comunale, 80121 Naples, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: marine biotechnology; marine chemical ecology; drug discovery; marine organisms

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Marine organisms have evolved several mechanisms to survive in extremely different and hostile environments in terms of light, temperature, salinity, pressure, and predation. The harsh chemical and physical conditions of the marine environment have favored the production of a great variety of molecules in marine organisms that are unique in terms of diversity, structural, and functional features. Chemical defenses include not only the production of toxins (e.g., during harmful algal blooms) but also a plethora of defensive metabolites, mainly secondary metabolites, produced after specific external stimuli. These compounds represent a huge reservoir of new bioactive compounds with great pharmaceutical potential.

This Special Issue aims to highlight recent discoveries on chemical defensive strategies adopted by marine organisms in order to survive. In addition, considering that several marine compounds have been demonstrated to exert bioactivities that are useful for human health (e.g., applications as anticancer and anti-infective molecules), this Special Issue has the scope to also show how marine defensive chemicals can also have other applications (e.g., the treatment of human pathologies or pest management in aquaculture).

Dr. Chiara Lauritano
Dr. Adrianna Ianora
Guest Editors

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. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 2000 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.

Keywords

  • defense strategies
  • stress responses
  • toxins
  • secondary metabolites
  • marine organisms

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
ABC Transporters in Prorocentrum lima and Their Expression Under Different Environmental Conditions Including Okadaic Acid Production
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(5), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17050259
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 27 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
PDF Full-text (7755 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Prorocentrum lima is a typical benthic toxic dinoflagellate, which can produce phycotoxins such as okadaic acid (OA). In this study, we identified three ABC transporter genes (ABCB1, ABCC1 and ABCG2) and characterized their expression patterns, as well as OA production [...] Read more.
Prorocentrum lima is a typical benthic toxic dinoflagellate, which can produce phycotoxins such as okadaic acid (OA). In this study, we identified three ABC transporter genes (ABCB1, ABCC1 and ABCG2) and characterized their expression patterns, as well as OA production under different environmental conditions in P. lima. We found that the three ABC transporters all showed high identity with related ABC proteins from other species, and contained classical features of ABC transport proteins. Among them, ABCG2 was a half size transporter. The three ABC transporter genes displayed various expression profiles under different conditions. The high concentration of Cu2+ could up-regulate ABCB1, ABCC1 and ABCG2 transcripts in P. lima, suggesting the potential defensive role of ABC transporters against metal ions in surrounding waters. Cu2+, in some concentration, could induce OA production; meanwhile, tributyltin inhibited OA accumulation. The grazer Artemia salina could induce OA production, and P. lima displayed some toxicity to the grazer, indicating the possibility of OA as an anti-grazing chemical. Collectively, our results revealed intriguing data about OA production and the expression patterns of three ABC transporter genes. However, we could not find any significant correlation between OA production and expression pattern of the three ABC transporters in P. lima. Our results might provide new molecular insights on the defensive responses of P. lima to the surrounding environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Defense in Marine Organisms)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular and Morphological Toxicity of Diatom-Derived Hydroxyacid Mixtures to Sea Urchin Paracentrotus lividus Embryos
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17030144
Received: 7 February 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 24 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
PDF Full-text (2041 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Oxylipins such as polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) and hydroxyacids (HEPEs) are signaling molecules derived from the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are common in diatoms that constitute a major group of microalgae in freshwater and oceanic ecosystems. Although HEPEs represent the most common [...] Read more.
Oxylipins such as polyunsaturated aldehydes (PUAs) and hydroxyacids (HEPEs) are signaling molecules derived from the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids. They are common in diatoms that constitute a major group of microalgae in freshwater and oceanic ecosystems. Although HEPEs represent the most common oxylipins produced by diatoms, little information is available on their effects on marine invertebrates, and most of the information has been obtained by testing individual HEPEs. Our previous studies reported that four hydroxyacids, i.e., 5-, 9-, 11-, and 15-HEPE, were able to induce malformations and a marked developmental delay in sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus embryos, which had not been reported for other oxylipins. Here, we tested a mixture of 5-, 9-, 11-, and 15-HEPE at different concentrations for the first time. The results showed that mixtures of HEPEs have synergistic effects that are much more severe compared to those of individual HEPEs: The HEPE mixtures induced malformations in sea urchin embryos at lower concentrations. Increasing HEPE mixture concentrations induced a marked increase in the number of delayed embryos, until all embryos were delayed at the highest concentration tested. At the molecular level, the HEPE mixtures induced variations in the expression of 50 genes involved in different functional processes, mainly down-regulating these genes at the earliest stages of embryonic development. These findings are ecologically significant, considering that during diatom blooms, sea urchins could accumulate HEPEs in concentrations comparable to those tested in the present study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Defense in Marine Organisms)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Cytotoxic Nitrogenous Terpenoids from Two South China Sea Nudibranchs Phyllidiella pustulosa, Phyllidia coelestis, and Their Sponge-Prey Acanthella cavernosa
Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17010056
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
PDF Full-text (1563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A detailed chemical investigation of two South China Sea nudibranchs Phyllidiella pustulosa and Phyllidia coelestis, as well as their possible sponge-prey Acanthella cavernosa, led to the isolation of one new nitrogenous cadinane-type sesquiterpenoid xidaoisocyanate A (1), one new naturally [...] Read more.
A detailed chemical investigation of two South China Sea nudibranchs Phyllidiella pustulosa and Phyllidia coelestis, as well as their possible sponge-prey Acanthella cavernosa, led to the isolation of one new nitrogenous cadinane-type sesquiterpenoid xidaoisocyanate A (1), one new naturally occurring nitrogen-containing kalihinane-type diterpenoid bisformamidokalihinol A (16), along with 17 known nitrogenous terpenoids (215, 1719). The structures of all the isolates were elucidated by detailed spectroscopic analysis and by the comparison of their spectroscopic data with those reported in the literature. In addition, the absolute stereochemistry of the previously reported axiriabiline A (5) was determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. In a bioassay, the bisabolane-type sesquiterpenoids 8, 10, and 11 exhibited cytotoxicity against several human cancer cell lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Defense in Marine Organisms)
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