Marine bioactive compounds as new therapeutic approaches in inflammatory diseases.

Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
In the last years the number of marine natural products considered as bioactive compounds has greatly increased with many reaching preclinical marine pharmaceuticals pipeline and some already approved for human pharmacologic use. Marine brown algae compounds, namely secondary metabolites like meroterpenoids, have been described to have significant activity as anti-inflammatory agents. Moreover, steroidal glycosides (saponins), abundant in plants, are suggested to exert a pharmacological effect with anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties in human cell lines. More recently, this class of compounds was also found in marine organisms, and shown to exhibit a potent anti-inflammatory activity. Modern pharmacological therapy is costly and produces many side effects, resulting in significant patient non-compliance. Thus, there is a strong need to explore alternative therapies, particularly from marine sources as these are cost-effective and have minimal side effects. We propose to (1) obtain well characterized marine bioactive compounds available within the frame of our collaboration research agreements starting with purified meroterpenoids from brown algae Cystoseira usneoides and a selection of asterosaponin extracts from starfish Asterias rubens, (2) Evaluate their cytotoxicity and further test their anti-inflammatory potential activity using established in vitro cell systems. CCMAR-Functional Biochemistry and proteomics (FBP) LAB 2.96/ Building 7 Campus de Gambelas, UALG
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contact person first name: 
Dina Simes
Other people involved: 
Dra Carla Viegas (
Reference Number: RP-35612