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      The re-emergence of natural products for drug discovery in the genomics era.

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          Abstract

          Natural products have been a rich source of compounds for drug discovery. However, their use has diminished in the past two decades, in part because of technical barriers to screening natural products in high-throughput assays against molecular targets. Here, we review strategies for natural product screening that harness the recent technical advances that have reduced these barriers. We also assess the use of genomic and metabolomic approaches to augment traditional methods of studying natural products, and highlight recent examples of natural products in antimicrobial drug discovery and as inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. The growing appreciation of functional assays and phenotypic screens may further contribute to a revival of interest in natural products for drug discovery.

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          Most cited references 281

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          Construction of Escherichia coli K-12 in-frame, single-gene knockout mutants: the Keio collection

          We have systematically made a set of precisely defined, single-gene deletions of all nonessential genes in Escherichia coli K-12. Open-reading frame coding regions were replaced with a kanamycin cassette flanked by FLP recognition target sites by using a one-step method for inactivation of chromosomal genes and primers designed to create in-frame deletions upon excision of the resistance cassette. Of 4288 genes targeted, mutants were obtained for 3985. To alleviate problems encountered in high-throughput studies, two independent mutants were saved for every deleted gene. These mutants—the ‘Keio collection'—provide a new resource not only for systematic analyses of unknown gene functions and gene regulatory networks but also for genome-wide testing of mutational effects in a common strain background, E. coli K-12 BW25113. We were unable to disrupt 303 genes, including 37 of unknown function, which are candidates for essential genes. Distribution is being handled via GenoBase (http://ecoli.aist-nara.ac.jp/).
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            Natural products as sources of new drugs over the 30 years from 1981 to 2010.

            This review is an updated and expanded version of the three prior reviews that were published in this journal in 1997, 2003, and 2007. In the case of all approved therapeutic agents, the time frame has been extended to cover the 30 years from January 1, 1981, to December 31, 2010, for all diseases worldwide, and from 1950 (earliest so far identified) to December 2010 for all approved antitumor drugs worldwide. We have continued to utilize our secondary subdivision of a "natural product mimic" or "NM" to join the original primary divisions and have added a new designation, "natural product botanical" or "NB", to cover those botanical "defined mixtures" that have now been recognized as drug entities by the FDA and similar organizations. From the data presented, the utility of natural products as sources of novel structures, but not necessarily the final drug entity, is still alive and well. Thus, in the area of cancer, over the time frame from around the 1940s to date, of the 175 small molecules, 131, or 74.8%, are other than "S" (synthetic), with 85, or 48.6%, actually being either natural products or directly derived therefrom. In other areas, the influence of natural product structures is quite marked, with, as expected from prior information, the anti-infective area being dependent on natural products and their structures. Although combinatorial chemistry techniques have succeeded as methods of optimizing structures and have been used very successfully in the optimization of many recently approved agents, we are able to identify only one de novo combinatorial compound approved as a drug in this 30-year time frame. We wish to draw the attention of readers to the rapidly evolving recognition that a significant number of natural product drugs/leads are actually produced by microbes and/or microbial interactions with the "host from whence it was isolated", and therefore we consider that this area of natural product research should be expanded significantly.
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              In vivo activation of the p53 pathway by small-molecule antagonists of MDM2.

              MDM2 binds the p53 tumor suppressor protein with high affinity and negatively modulates its transcriptional activity and stability. Overexpression of MDM2, found in many human tumors, effectively impairs p53 function. Inhibition of MDM2-p53 interaction can stabilize p53 and may offer a novel strategy for cancer therapy. Here, we identify potent and selective small-molecule antagonists of MDM2 and confirm their mode of action through the crystal structures of complexes. These compounds bind MDM2 in the p53-binding pocket and activate the p53 pathway in cancer cells, leading to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and growth inhibition of human tumor xenografts in nude mice.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nat Rev Drug Discov
                Nature reviews. Drug discovery
                1474-1784
                1474-1776
                Feb 2015
                : 14
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ] 1] Research and Innovation Support, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland. [2] Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NR, UK.
                [2 ] Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Science, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G4 0NR, UK.
                [3 ] Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia.
                Article
                nrd4510
                10.1038/nrd4510
                25614221

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