Advertisement

Biodiversity as a source of small molecules for pharmacological screening: libraries of plant extracts

  • Françoise Gueritte
  • Thierry Sevenet
  • Marc Litaudon
  • Vincent Dumontet
Chapter

Abstract

The term ‘biodiversity’ refers to the diversity of living organisms. This diversity of Life is represented as trees (called ‘taxonomic trees’) following the classification principles first proposed by Aristotle, then rigorously put forward by Linnaeus and connected to natural evolution by Darwin (in neo-Darwinian terms, trees are then called ‘phylogenic trees’). Beyond the unifying chemical features that characterise living entities (nucleotides, amino acids, sugars, simple lipids etc.), some important branches in the Tree of Life – like plants, marine invertebrates and algae, insects, fungi and bacteria etc. – are known to be sources of innumerable drugs and bioactive molecules. The exploration of this biodiversity was initiated in prehistoric times and is still considered a mine for the future. To allow access to libraries of extracts sampled in this biodiversity, a methodology has been designed following the model defined originally for single-compound chemical libraries. Thus ‘extract libraries’ have been developed to serve biological screening on various targets. There are far fewer extract-libraries than chemical libraries. The positive results obtained from these screenings do not straightforwardly allow the identification of a bioactive molecule, since extracts are mixtures of molecules, but they can orientate research projects towards the discovery of novel active compounds that can be potential drug leads.

Keywords

Plant Extract Living Organism Chemical Feature Potential Drug Natural Evolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. ALLOUCHE N., MORLEO B., THOISON O., DUMONTET V., NOSJEAN O., GUÉRITTE F., SÉVENET T., LITAUDON M. (2008) Biologically active tetralones from New Caledonian Zygogynum spp. Phytochemistry 69: 1750-1755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. BOUSSEROUEL H., LITAUDON M., MORLEO B., MARTIN M.-T., THOISON O., NOSJEAN O., BOUTIN J., RENARD P., SÉVENET T. (2005) New biologically active linear triterpenes from the bark of three new-caledonian Cupaniopsis sp. Tetrahedron 61: 845-851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. CBD (Convention on Biodiversity (1992) http://www.cbd.int/convention/convention.shtml
  4. JOLLY C., THOISON O., MARTIN M-T., DUMONTET V., GILBERT A., PFEIFFER B., LÉONCE S., SEVENET T., GUERITTE F., LITAUDON M. (2008) Cytotoxic turrianes of Kermadecia elliptica from the New Caledonian rain forest. Phytochemistry 69: 533-540CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. MAIA A. SCHMITZ-AFONSO I.M.-T. LAPRÉVOTE O. GUÉRITTE F. LITAUDON M. (2008) Acylphenols from Myristica crassa as new acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Planta Medica 74: 1457-1462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. MUTKE J., BARTHLOTT W. (2005) Patterns of vascular plant diversity at continental to global scales. Biol. Skr. 55: 521-531.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Françoise Gueritte
    • 1
  • Thierry Sevenet
    • 1
  • Marc Litaudon
    • 1
  • Vincent Dumontet
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Natural Products ChemistryCNRS - Gif Research CenterGif-sur-YvetteFrance

Personalised recommendations