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Phytochemistry Reviews
9, No. 4, 2010; Pages: 475 - 489

Bioactive natural products from marine sponges and fungal endophytes

Peter Proksch, Annika Putz, Sofia Ortlepp, Julia Kjer, Mirko Bayer

Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie und Biotechnologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstr.1, Geb.26.23, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.


This review highlights recent findings of our group on bioactive marine natural products isolated from marine sponges and marine derived fungi. The activated chemical defence of the Mediterranean sponge Aplysina aerophoba is introduced as an example of a dynamic response of marine sponges to wounding. Following tissue disrupture preformed brominated isoxazoline alkaloids are enzymatically cleaved and thereby give rise to aeroplysinin-1 which is believed to protect sponges from invasion of pathogenic bacteria. A preliminary characterization of the membrane bound enzyme(s) involved in the cleavage reaction is presented. Bromotyrosine derived, oxime group bearing peptides, the so called bastadins, obtained from the sponge Ianthella basta and some of their synthetic derivatives were shown to exhibit pronounced antifouling activity against larvae of the barnacle Balanus improvisus. The antifouling activity could be traced to the oxime group as an important pharmacophore that was also found to be present in other sponge derived natural products exhibiting antifouling activity. Marine derived fungi that reside within invertebrates such as sponges or inside Mangrove plants are emerging as a new source of bioactive metabolites as demonstrated for Aspergillus ustus and Alternaria sp. that were isolated from the sponge Suberites domuncula or from the Mangrove plant Sonneratia alba, respectively. The former fungus yielded new moderately cytotoxic sesquiterpenoids of the drimane type whereas the latter was found to produce polyketides such as alternariol that exhibited strong and selective inhibitory activity against several protein kinases, for instance Aurora A and B which are targets for anticancer chemotherapy.

Keywords: Activated defence; Antifouling activity; Chemical ecology; Drug discovery; Protein kinase inhibitors



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