Cyanobacteria natural products as sources for future directions in antibiotic drug discovery

Gisoo Sarvari,1,* Bahareh nowrozi,2 Ehsan mohammadi,3

1. 1* Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Tehran Medical Sciences, Islamic Azad University, Tehran - Iran (IAUPS)
2. 2 Department of Biology, School of Basic Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran. ORCID: 0000-0001-6656-777X
3. Department of Molecular and Cellular Sciences,Faculty of Advanced Sciences and Technology,Pharmaceutical Sciences Branch,Islamic Azad University,IAUPS,Tehran,Iran



Cyanobacteria, an abundant source of natural products with a broad diversity of secondary metabolites, have emerged as a novel resource for the progression of synthetic analogues with enhanced pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties. due to the antibiotic resistance growth the need for new medication is quite an important issue. the cyanobacterial compounds with promising antimicrobial, immunosuppressant, anti-carcinoma, antiviral and protease inhibition activity are a potent option for new therapeutics. screening of cyanobacteria for pharmaceutically active compounds has received ever increasing attention. however, limited knowledge is available on biosynthetic mechanisms, which are very beneficial in the drug discovery process and cultural production of the desired metabolites. therefore there is need to aware the researchers to exploit the cyanobacteria for bioactive metabolite production, their utilization and to know their interaction with other organisms. literature suggest that cyanobacteria comprising more than 150 genera and 2000 species. among these only few genera such as lyngbya, oscillatoria, nostoc, scytonema, hapalosiphon, microcystis, anabaena, phormidium, cylendrospermum and tolypothrix are well screened for metabolite production and possible utilization. cryptophycins, coibamide a, largazole and hassallidins are some examples of cyanobacterial bioactive compounds.


These secondary metabolites are produced through non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (nrps), polyketide synthase (pks) and mainly through mixed nrps–pks enzymatic systems. databases of the cyanobacterial compound entities have been studied under various data mining methods, virtual screening techniques and receptor–ligand docking approaches.


Therefore, with the development of genome sequence technology the biosynthetic gene clusters involved in the production of these metabolites have also been identified.


Overall, there is a promising outlook that the cyanobacterial secondary metabolites may be our future alternatives for a more developed medication in a more accelerated timeline.


Cyanobacteria; natural products; antibiotic; drug discovery