Computer-aided drug design of bioactive natural products


Natural products have been an integral part of sustaining civilizations because of their medicinal properties. Past discoveries of bioactive natural products have relied on serendipity, and these compounds serve as inspiration for the generation of analogs with desired physicochemical properties. Bioactive natural products with therapeutic potential are abundantly available in nature and some of them are beyond exploration by conventional methods. The effectiveness of computational approaches as versatile tools for facilitating drug discovery and development has been recognized for decades, without exception, in the case of natural products. In the post-genomic era, scientists are bombarded with data produced by advanced technologies. Thus, rendering these data into knowledge that is interpretable and meaningful becomes an essential issue. In this regard, computational approaches utilize the existing data to generate knowledge that provides valuable understanding for addressing current problems and guiding the further research and development of new natural-derived drugs. Furthermore, several medicinal plants have been continuously used in many traditional medicine systems since antiquity throughout the world, and their mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. Therefore, the utilization of computational approaches and advanced synthetic techniques would yield great benefit to improving the world’s health population and well-being.

Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Prachayasittikul V, Worachartcheewan A, Songtawee N, Simeon S, Shoombuatong W, Prachayasittikul V, Nantasenamat C. Computer-Aided Drug Design of Bioactive Natural Products. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 15 (2015) 1780-1800.