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Natural Compounds and Drug Discovery. Can Cnidarian Venom Play a Role?

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 2 ]

Author(s):

Gian Luigi Mariottini* and Irwin Darren Grice   Pages 114 - 118 ( 5 )

Abstract:


Natural compounds extracted from organisms and microorganisms are an important resource for the development of drugs and bioactive molecules. Many such compounds have made valuable contributions in diverse fields such as human health, pharmaceutics and industrial applications. Presently, however, research on investigating natural compounds from marine organisms is scarce. This is somewhat surprising considering that the marine environment makes a major contribution to Earth's ecosystems and consequently possesses a vast storehouse of diverse marine species. Interestingly, of the marine bioactive natural compounds identified to date, many are venoms, coming from Cnidarians (jellyfish, sea anemones, corals). Cnidarians are therefore particularly interesting marine species, producing important biological compounds that warrant further investigation for their development as possible therapeutic agents. From an experimental aspect, this review aims to emphasize and update the current scientific knowledge reported on selected biological activity (antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumoral, anticoagulant, along with several less studied effects) of Cnidarian venoms/extracts, highlighting potential aspects for ongoing research towards their utilization in human therapeutic approaches.

Keywords:

Cnidarians, corals, drug discovery, jellyfish, natural compounds, sea anemones, venoms.

Affiliation:

Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences, University of Genova, Genova, , Institute for Glycomics and School of Medical Science, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland



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