Antitumor potential of natural products from Mediterranean ascidians. Phytochem Rev 8:461-472

Phytochemistry Reviews (Impact Factor: 2.41). 06/2009; 8(2):461-472. DOI: 10.1007/s11101-009-9131-y


Ascidians, invertebrates belonging to the subphylum Urochordata (Tunicata), are renowned for their great chemical diversity,
and during the last 25years, they have been shown to produce an array of cytotoxic molecules. Among the first six marine-derived
compounds that have reached clinical trials as antitumor agents, three are derived from ascidians, as evidence of the high
potential of these organisms as a new source of antitumor compounds. Reported in this communication are some recent results
on the chemistry of Mediterranean ascidians; a number of new molecules with different structural features but all endowed
with antiproliferative or cytotoxic activity are discussed. These results strongly evidence the highly significant role that
Mediterranean ascidians natural products could play in anticancer drug discovery and development process.

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    • "Cytotoxicity in the extracts of organisms from marine environments is one of the most expressive biological activities, and surpasses those of terrestrial origin. When considering the list of the natural compounds under clinical investigation, anticancer chemotherapy is suggested as the stronghold of marine natural products (Menna 2009). On the course of our ongoing research program regarding the identification of new antitumour compounds from the Brazilian marine biodiversity (Montenegro et al. 2012), we report, herein, the bioprospection of cytotoxic compounds from the marine-derived fungus Aspergillus sp. "
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    ABSTRACT: A fungal strain of Aspergillus sp. (BRF 030) was isolated from the sediments collected in the northeast coast of Brazil, and the cytotoxic activity of its secondary metabolites was investigated against HCT-116 tumour cell line. The cytotoxicity-guided fractionation of the extracts from this fungus cultured in potato-dextrose-sea water for 14 days at room temperature yielded the hetero-spirocyclic γ-lactams pseurotin A (1), pseurotin D (2) and pseurotin FD-838 (7), the alkaloids fumitremorgin C (5), 12,13-dihydroxy fumitremorgin C (6), methylsulochrin (4) and bis(dethio)bis(methylthio)gliotoxin (3). Among them, fumitremorgin C (5) and 12,13-dihydroxy fumitremorgin C (6) were the most active. The cytotoxic activities of the extracts from Aspergillus sp. grown from 7 to 28 days were investigated, and they were associated with the kinetic production of the compounds. The most active extracts (14 and 21 days) were those with the highest relative concentrations of the compounds fumitremorgin C (5) and 12,13-dihydroxy fumitremorgin C (6).
    Natural Product Research 12/2014; 29(16):1-6. DOI:10.1080/14786419.2014.987772 · 0.92 Impact Factor
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    • "Colonial species characterize more than 60% of the described species. The high diversity of colonial ascidians is increasingly important since many contain very active secondary metabolites important to the pharmaceutical industry [178]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The class Ascidiacea presents fundamental opportunities for research in the fields of development, evolution, ecology, natural products and more. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge regarding the global biodiversity of the class Ascidiacea, focusing in their taxonomy, main regions of biodiversity, and distribution patterns. Based on analysis of the literature and the species registered in the online World Register of Marine Species, we assembled a list of 2815 described species. The highest number of species and families is found in the order Aplousobranchia. Didemnidae and Styelidae families have the highest number of species with more than 500 within each group. Sixty percent of described species are colonial. Species richness is highest in tropical regions, where colonial species predominate. In higher latitudes solitary species gradually contribute more to the total species richness. We emphasize the strong association between species richness and sampling efforts, and discuss the risks of invasive species. Our inventory is certainly incomplete as the ascidian fauna in many areas around the world is relatively poorly known, and many new species continue to be discovered and described each year.
    PLoS ONE 06/2011; 6(6):e20657. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0020657 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Natural products have been the biggest single source of anticancer drugs and there are continued efforts to explore the chemical diversity provided by nature in order to find new lead compounds. Bioassay test methods have developed into high throughput screening assays using both cell-based and molecular approaches. The various ways to detect effects on cell viability and cell proliferation are summarised and examples are given of developments using three-dimensional cultures and cancer stem cells. Cell-based reporter assays have also been created in order to look more directly for effects on specific physiological pathways. The molecular assays include those directed at microtubules and related proteins and at many different protein kinases.
    Planta Medica 08/2010; 76(11):1080-6. DOI:10.1055/s-0030-1250162 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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