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ScientificWorldJournal. 2012;2012:179782. doi: 10.1100/2012/179782. Epub 2012 Apr 1.

Exploring marine cyanobacteria for lead compounds of pharmaceutical importance.

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  • 1Department of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, International Islamic University Islamabad, Sector H-10, 44000 Islamabad, Pakistan.


The Ocean, which is called the "mother of origin of life," is also the source of structurally unique natural products that are mainly accumulated in living organisms. Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes used as food by humans. They are excellent source of vitamins and proteins vital for life. Several of these compounds show pharmacological activities and are helpful for the invention and discovery of bioactive compounds, primarily for deadly diseases like cancer, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), arthritis, and so forth, while other compounds have been developed as analgesics or to treat inflammation, and so forth. They produce a large variety of bioactive compounds, including substances with anticancer and antiviral activity, UV protectants, specific inhibitors of enzymes, and potent hepatotoxins and neurotoxins. Many cyanobacteria produce compounds with potent biological activities. This paper aims to showcase the structural diversity of marine cyanobacterial secondary metabolites with a comprehensive coverage of alkaloids and other applications of cyanobacteria.

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