E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Biologically Active Small Molecules Inspired by Plant Secondary Metabolites"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Giovanni Lentini

University of Studies of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: medicinal chemistry; drug discovery; chirality; pharmacology; phytochemistry
Guest Editor
Dr. Maria Maddalena Cavalluzzi

University of Studies of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: organic synthesis; medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry; small molecule synthesis; multistep synthesis; enantiomer; fluorine chemistry; sodium channels
Guest Editor
Prof. Solomon Habtemariam

University of Greenwich, Herbal Analysis Services UK, Greenwich, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Natural products chemistry; pharmacology; drug discovery; pharmacognosy.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It would seem that more than 500 centuries ago, our closest human relatives―the Neanderthals―used to place Ephedra plant flowers into graves. This might be the most ancient example of paleoethnobotany. As questionable as this statement might be, undoubtedly, the Plant Kingdom has been the most prodigal source of medicines for over 20 centuries.

The last four decades have witnessed a resurgence of interest in plant product research. Numerous and varied are the reasons for this:

  • Ever-increasing difficulty in developing new drugs;
  • The success of the natural product approach;
  • The uniqueness of plant secondary metabolites;
  • The impact of new screening methods and analytic techniques.

Unfortunately, plant secondary metabolites are not necessarily the best compounds for pharmaceutical uses, for the following reasons:

  • Limitations may exist that prevent the acquisition of sufficient biomass;
  • Isolation procedures may be long and expensive;
  • The structure of the secondary metabolites may be too complex to allow total synthesis;
  • The pharmacological profile may be promiscuous;
  • Toxicological aspects may cause concern;
  • Oral bioavailability can be too low.

For all of the above reasons, medicinal chemists use to prepare analogues of the starting secondary metabolites in order to unveil sound structure–activity relationships (SAR) and possibly overcome the above limitations.

This Special Issue is designed to scrutinize recent developments in the medicinal chemistry of biologically relevant compounds that were inspired by plant-derived compounds.

Between 1980 and 2013, 20% of the new drugs introduced into the market were either natural products or natural products derivatives, with the latter being highly predominant (18%). The contribution of natural product derivatives to the physician panoply is expected to rise in the next decade. The colleagues that would like to share their valuable work in the field by contributing to this Special Issue of Molecules will give shine to the issue, of course, and would possibly confer higher chances to this prophecy.

Assoc. Prof. Giovanni Lentini
Dr. Maria Maddalena Cavalluzzi
Prof. Solomon Habtemariam
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. Molecules 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.


  • Drug discovery
  • Secondary metabolites
  • Natural product scaffolds
  • Structure–activity relationships
  • Pharmacophore

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top