Plants use complex mixtures of secondary compounds (SM) of different structural classes to protect themselves against herbivores, bacteria, fungi and viruses. These complex mixtures may contain SM, which are specific for a single target (monotarget SM). A majority of SM, however, can interfere with several targets (multitarget SM) in a pleiotropic fashion. The composition of such extracts appears to be optimised, since the components are not only additive but apparently synergistic in their bioactivity. Synergism can be achieved by inhibiting the xenobiotics inactivating activities of animals and microbes (MDR, CYP), by facilitating the uptake of polar SM across biomembranes and/or by affecting several important organs in animals concomitantly. Phytotherapy employs equally complex extracts of medicinal plants. Arguments were put together that the utilisation of complex mixtures with pleiotropic agents presents a unique therapeutic approach with many advantages over monotarget compounds. Mixtures of multitarget SM, used in phytotherapy include phenolics, tannins, mono- and sequiterpenes, saponins, iridoid glucosides and anthraquinones, but only few of them alkaloids or other toxic monotarget SM.Multitarget effects are caused by SM, which can modulate the three-dimensional structure of proteins (and thus their function), by interfering with DNA/RNA (especially gene expression) or membrane permeability. In addition, complex extracts may contain synergists, which can inhibit MDR, cytochrome P450 or enhance absorption and thus bioavailability of active metabolites. The molecular modes of action are reviewed for the main groups of secondary metabolites.
"Majority of thoroughly studied medicinal plants contain broad spectrum of bioactive compounds (Efferth and Koch, 2011) with each phytochemicals have different antimicrobial mode (Simoes et al., 2009). Multitarget effects of phytochemicals include alteration in structure and function of proteins, interference with synthesis of DNA or RNA or proteins, disruption of the cell membrane and change in its function, inhibition of cytochrome P450 or enhanced absorption and thus bioavailability of active metabolites (Efferth and Koch, 2011; Wink, 2008). It has been shown that extracts of different plants contain inhibitors of efflux pumps in bacteria (Garvey et al., 2011; Hsieh et al., 1998), therefore can help fighting multidrug resistance by inhibiting the action of efflux pumps. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacteria are dreadful human and animal pathogens causing range of mycobacterioses in
different tissues. Due to their cell wall composition and their adaptability mycobacteria can survive
in different habitats for years. Emergence of Multi-drug Resistant (MDR) and extensively drug
resistant (XDR) strains has complicated the problem of mycobacterial disease control. Therefore
new drugs should evolve to fight drug resistance. Medicinal plants may offer a new hope as source
of bioactive molecules for developing alternative medicines for the mycobacterial diseases.
Presently used anti-mycobacterial medicines produce serious side-effects and cannot be used in
animals because of risk of entry into food chain. Plant derived medicines may help solving this
problem and fighting the drug resistance. The present study reviews the literature available on
anti- mycobacterial plants and their bioactive molecules with hope that this effort will expedite the
research on development of a novel plant derived drugs against mycobacterial diseases.
Asian Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances 10/2015; 10(9):443-460. DOI:10.3923/ajava.2015.443.460 · 0.87 Impact Factor
"Natural molecules and products reemerge as promising sources of complex multitarget mixtures that are used as alternative therapeutic agents for various conditions, including infections and chronic diseases  , such as oral diseases    or digestive cancers . Amphipterygium adstringens Schiede ex Schlecht (Julianaceae ) is an endemic species in Mexico commonly known as " cuachalalate. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amphipterygium adstringens is a plant widely used in Mexican traditional medicine for its known anti-inflammatory and antiulcer properties. In this work, we evaluated the in vitro antimicrobial and antiproliferative activities of the methanolic extract of A. adstringens against oral pathogens such as Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Candida albicans, and Candida dubliniensis, using microdilution (MIC) and agar diffusion methods (MBC), and the antiproliferative activity evaluating total growth inhibition (TGI) by staining the protein content with sulforhodamine B (SRB), using nine human cancer cell lines. Crude extract (CE) of A. adstringens showed some degree of activity against one or more of the strains with a MIC from 0.125 mg/mL to 63 mg/mL and MBC from 1.6 to 6.3 mg/mL and cytotoxic activity, particularly against NCI-ADR/RES, an ovarian cell line expressing multiple resistance drugs phenotype. The CE is a complex mixture of possible multitarget metabolites that could be responsible for both antimicrobial and antiproliferative activities, and further investigation is required to elucidate the identity of active compounds. Nevertheless the CE itself is useful in the development of new antimicrobial treatment based on natural products to prevent oral diseases and as alternative natural source for cancer treatment and prevention.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 10/2015; 2015(4):175497. DOI:10.1155/2015/175497 · 1.88 Impact Factor
"Direct interaction of secondary plant compounds with proteins by the formation of ionic bonds is known to induce changes in conformation and bioactivity. Moreover, it has to be taken into account that green tea contains a complex mixture of catechins and other polyphenolic compounds that could synergistically affect the aforementioned mechanisms . Although the catechins are chemical antioxidants which can quench free radical species and have been demonstrated to increase the resistance to oxidative stress in C. elegans , we have previously shown that the prevention of glucose-induced lifespan-reduction by the polyphenol quercetin is independent of antioxidant activities . "
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