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Polypharmacology of Natural Products Harnessed from the Ocean

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 4 ]


Mahomoodallly M. Fawzi* and Mooneesamy H.M. Shannen   Pages 288 - 303 ( 16 )


The ocean covers about 75% of earth’s surface and harbours an infinite source of potential pharmacologically active organic metabolites which are yet to be explored. With the increase of noncommunicable and infectious diseases threatening public health and a dearth of existing drugs, researchers are constantly in the quest for novel bioactive template compounds from natural products. This mini-review aims at bringing to the limelight of the scientific community the polypharmacological potential of marine natural organic products against common chronic diseases. Key databases were probed for relevant publications geared towards pharmacological properties of marine products. Pathologies targeted correlating with the medicinal properties of marine sponges and seaweeds were grouped into four categories namely; cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and HIV. The possible mechanisms of metabolites isolated from these marine products were also discussed. Callyspongynic acid derived from sponge was found to be both effective as anti-diabetic and antiviral. It was noted that congeneric marine sponges’ unique chemical characteristics depend on their geographical location and environment. Moreover, a seaweed derived-metabolite (fucoidan) was found to be beneficial in the management of obesity on long-term treatment, to have hypoglycemic effect on type 2 diabetes and to act as an anti-cancer agent. The myriad of marine metabolites combined to the global awareness of the undiscovered pharmacological potential of marine organisms could increase the pace of these products entering clinical trials. This mini-review advocates for the exploitation of marine products towards the production of novel therapeutic drugs. In conclusion, it was found that the use of marine derived bioactive products could provide a plethora of alternative strategies for clinical applications.


Natural products, sponges, algae, seaweeds, ocean, polypharmacology.


Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Moka, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Moka

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