Bioactive Compounds from Natural Immune Systems of Marine Invertebrates

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine Pharmacology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 1624

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche, Chimiche e Farmaceutiche, Università di Palermo, Via Archirafi 18, Palermo, 90128, Italy
Interests: immunity; marine invertebrates; cell biology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The immune response is an integrated system of biological processes and structures in invertebrates that recognizes and fights pathogens. This defense mechanism relies on several classes of immune receptors, which sense pathogen-associated molecular patterns and induce sophisticated signaling and cell involvement, based on dynamic feedback-regulated interactions among a number of components (genes, transcripts, metabolites, and proteins). Further studies of the natural immune mechanisms of marine invertebrates need to cover the knowledge gaps regarding the hierarchically organized set of molecular, cellular, and organismal networks involved in these universal immune interactions with pathogens. Natural immune response studies in marine invertebrates, through a wide-ranging approach (transcriptomic, miRNome analysis, proteomics, metabolomics, and in silico analyses), are a keystone to better understand the complexity of the net underlying an immune response and identify the novel potential bioactive molecules used to design and develop new bioactive compounds. In fact, in the last year, aquatic invertebrates have become a major source of biomaterials and bioactive natural products that can have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancers, neuroactive, nutraceutics, cosmetics, antibiotics, antifouling products, biomaterials, and even food storage applications.

In this Special Issue, we welcome all types of studies addressing natural immune response molecules, non-coding RNAs, mechanisms, and signaling and regulation pathways that can lead to identifying bioactive molecules in marine invertebrates derived via experimental and in silico research.

Prof. Aiti Vizzini
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 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.


  • innate immunity
  • marine invertebrate
  • transcriptomic
  • non-coding RNAs
  • proteomics
  • metabolomic
  • in silico analyses
  • marine natural products

Published Papers (1 paper)

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16 pages, 12525 KiB  
High-Yield Preparation of American Oyster Defensin (AOD) via a Small and Acidic Fusion Tag and Its Functional Characterization
by Qingyi Zhao, Na Yang, Xinxi Gu, Yuanyuan Li, Da Teng, Ya Hao, Haiqiang Lu, Ruoyu Mao and Jianhua Wang
Mar. Drugs 2024, 22(1), 8; - 20 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1347
The marine peptide, American oyster defensin (AOD), is derived from Crassostrea virginica and exhibits a potent bactericidal effect. However, recombinant preparation has not been achieved due to the high charge and hydrophobicity. Although the traditional fusion tags such as Trx and SUMO shield [...] Read more.
The marine peptide, American oyster defensin (AOD), is derived from Crassostrea virginica and exhibits a potent bactericidal effect. However, recombinant preparation has not been achieved due to the high charge and hydrophobicity. Although the traditional fusion tags such as Trx and SUMO shield the effects of target peptides on the host, their large molecular weight (12–20 kDa) leads to the yields lower than 20% of the fusion protein. In this study, a short and acidic fusion tag was employed with a compact structure of only 1 kDa. Following 72 h of induction in a 5 L fermenter, the supernatant exhibited a total protein concentration of 587 mg/L. The recombinant AOD was subsequently purified through affinity chromatography and enterokinase cleavage, resulting in the final yield of 216 mg/L and a purity exceeding 93%. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of AOD against Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Streptococcus galactis ranged from 4 to 8 μg/mL. Moreover, time-killing curves indicated that AOD achieved a bactericidal rate of 99.9% against the clinical strain S. epidermidis G-81 within 0.5 h at concentrations of 2× and 4× MIC. Additionally, the activity of AOD was unchanged after treatment with artificial gastric fluid and intestinal fluid for 4 h. Biocompatibility testing demonstrated that AOD, at a concentration of 128 μg/mL, exhibited a hemolysis rate of less than 0.5% and a cell survival rate of over 83%. Furthermore, AOD’s in vivo therapeutic efficacy against mouse subcutaneous abscess revealed its capability to restrain bacterial proliferation and reduce bacterial load, surpassing that of antibiotic lincomycin. These findings indicate AOD’s potential for clinical usage. Full article
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