Research Topic

Natural Medicines Derived From Marine Sources to Treat Various Human Diseases – Description of New Bioactive Substances

About this Research Topic

With 71% of oceans on the globe, over 3.5 billion years of biosynthesis under a variety of environmental stress like salinity, pressure, and temperature, a large diversity of marine flora and faunas offer the potential of an unending resource for new therapeutic products. A large number of anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antihypertension, antidiabetic, cytotoxic, immunostimulant, antimutagenic, and antioxidant natural compounds have been identified and examined from marine flora.

The marine resources are exceptionally rich in diverse classes of compounds including terpenoids, alkaloids, polyphenols, polyhydroxy-steroids to name a few. Apoptosis-inducing compounds including lipids like sphingosine derivatives, apoptosis-inhibiting lipids, glycosylated sphingosine-like lipids; as well as compounds with wound healing activities; and bioactive materials that have macrocyclic structures consisting of many peptide bonds, can all be found. However, marine flora and fauna are least explored due to technical inherent difficulties in sample collection, purification and identification. A special attention needs to be focused on marine floras including microflora (bacteria, actinobacteria, cyanobacteria and fungi), microalgae (seaweeds), flowering plants (mangroves and other halophytes) and marine animals. This diversity offers a great opportunity to find new drugs with large molecular diversity.

So far approximately 10,000 natural products from marine sources have already been identified. Many of these compounds have been demonstrated to activate macrophages, induce NETosis, apoptosis, and prevent oxidative burst protecting DNA damage and other biomolecules such as proteins and lipids. A positive relationship has been established between natural products from the diet and protective anticancer effect. In order to harvest and test the full potential of marine natural products, a special attention needs to be focused on marine biota including diverse flora and fauna including microflora (bacteria, actinobacteria, cyanobacteria and fungi), microalgae (seaweeds) and flowering plants (mangroves and other halophytes) and marine animals. This diversity offers a great opportunity to find new drugs with large molecular diversity.

Identification of potential drug candidates in diverse clinical uses must be initiated through batteries of biological assays, in vitro first on crude preparations which are then followed by biological screening as purification of individual products takes place followed by animal studies on interesting biologically active candidates.

Due to their diversity and complexity, structural identification is difficult. Fortunately, the latest developments in nanomole NMR spectroscopy, atomic microscopy, circular dichroism and mass spectrometry are the main tools in their identification. Phenotypic screening has been used to discover drug leads that modulate biological pathways and affinity chromatography is a classical method for the target identification.

The scope of this topic relates to the description of novel compounds isolated from marine animals preferably, although novel compounds isolated from marine plants and organisms shall be considered. Demonstration of biological activity of the isolated purified substances is essential to show in vitro in bioassays or in animal models of disease the effectiveness of the identified products. Availability of human studies with the isolated compounds constitutes an important addition to support the efficacy and application of the compounds in any described human disease.


Keywords: New bioactive substances, marine origin, pharmaceutical potential, various diseases, medicinal


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

With 71% of oceans on the globe, over 3.5 billion years of biosynthesis under a variety of environmental stress like salinity, pressure, and temperature, a large diversity of marine flora and faunas offer the potential of an unending resource for new therapeutic products. A large number of anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antihypertension, antidiabetic, cytotoxic, immunostimulant, antimutagenic, and antioxidant natural compounds have been identified and examined from marine flora.

The marine resources are exceptionally rich in diverse classes of compounds including terpenoids, alkaloids, polyphenols, polyhydroxy-steroids to name a few. Apoptosis-inducing compounds including lipids like sphingosine derivatives, apoptosis-inhibiting lipids, glycosylated sphingosine-like lipids; as well as compounds with wound healing activities; and bioactive materials that have macrocyclic structures consisting of many peptide bonds, can all be found. However, marine flora and fauna are least explored due to technical inherent difficulties in sample collection, purification and identification. A special attention needs to be focused on marine floras including microflora (bacteria, actinobacteria, cyanobacteria and fungi), microalgae (seaweeds), flowering plants (mangroves and other halophytes) and marine animals. This diversity offers a great opportunity to find new drugs with large molecular diversity.

So far approximately 10,000 natural products from marine sources have already been identified. Many of these compounds have been demonstrated to activate macrophages, induce NETosis, apoptosis, and prevent oxidative burst protecting DNA damage and other biomolecules such as proteins and lipids. A positive relationship has been established between natural products from the diet and protective anticancer effect. In order to harvest and test the full potential of marine natural products, a special attention needs to be focused on marine biota including diverse flora and fauna including microflora (bacteria, actinobacteria, cyanobacteria and fungi), microalgae (seaweeds) and flowering plants (mangroves and other halophytes) and marine animals. This diversity offers a great opportunity to find new drugs with large molecular diversity.

Identification of potential drug candidates in diverse clinical uses must be initiated through batteries of biological assays, in vitro first on crude preparations which are then followed by biological screening as purification of individual products takes place followed by animal studies on interesting biologically active candidates.

Due to their diversity and complexity, structural identification is difficult. Fortunately, the latest developments in nanomole NMR spectroscopy, atomic microscopy, circular dichroism and mass spectrometry are the main tools in their identification. Phenotypic screening has been used to discover drug leads that modulate biological pathways and affinity chromatography is a classical method for the target identification.

The scope of this topic relates to the description of novel compounds isolated from marine animals preferably, although novel compounds isolated from marine plants and organisms shall be considered. Demonstration of biological activity of the isolated purified substances is essential to show in vitro in bioassays or in animal models of disease the effectiveness of the identified products. Availability of human studies with the isolated compounds constitutes an important addition to support the efficacy and application of the compounds in any described human disease.


Keywords: New bioactive substances, marine origin, pharmaceutical potential, various diseases, medicinal


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

08 November 2020 Abstract
08 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

08 November 2020 Abstract
08 March 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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