Natural Products Database Research Papers

Although a great deal of efforts has been devoted to the development of therapeutics for a long time, cancer represents the major reasons for human death at an increasing pace. Because the discovery of anticancer medicine lags behind the rapid increase in the pathogenesis of cancer, more than 10 million people are expected to die of cancer in 2020, which corresponds to approximately 20% of all human deaths. The difficulty in the development of anticancer medicines is well reflected in the fact that only 5% of the candidates entering clinical trials reach the approval for marketing [1]. To promote the discovery of anticancer medicines, it is necessary to enrich the chemical and biological resources from which one can select a promising molecular scaffold as the starting point of the development.

With respect to the lead discovery, it is worth noting that natural products and their direct derivatives occupy 34% of new drugs approved over a few decades by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [2]. Besides the possession of unique pharmacophores and a high degree of stereochemistry, natural products are superior to the synthetic compounds in terms of the delivery to the intracellular site of action because most of them belong to the biologically active metabolites that should be the actual substrates of membrane transport systems [3]. Furthermore, natural products tend to have the better bioavailability than the synthetic compounds, which prevents them from being the false positives in the early stage of discovery [4].

Accordingly, several online databases for natural products have been constructed to provide a systematic and versatile platform for drug discovery including SuperNatural [5], CancerResource [6], NPACT [7], TCMSP [8], CancerHSP [9], TCMID [10], and Phytochemica [11]. In addition to three dimensional structures of commercially available natural products and the interactions with the target proteins, these databases contain the pharmacological properties associated with absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET) as well as in vitro and in vivo anticancer activities. Despite the prevalence of publicly available databases, the number of the collected natural products with anticancer activity ranges from 1000 to 4000, which would be insufficient to serve as a breakthrough chemical library for lead generation. Furthermore, information is missing or very limited about the extract mixtures in the existing natural product databases although the traditional Chinese medicines have been very useful for finding the promising leads with respect to various pharmacological targets [12–14].

To provide information for a sufficient number of the natural products and the extract mixtures with anticancer activity to research communities worldwide through Open Access protocol, we construct an online database referred to as Natural Products for Cancer Regulation (NPCARE, More specifically, NPCARE aims to complement and augment the public data repositories by the enrichment of the natural products and the fractional extracts isolated not only from plants but also from diverse non-traditional biological resources including marine organisms, fungi, and bacteria. NPCARE is therefore likely to serve as a comprehensive public resource from which users can select a good starting point for the discovery of anticancer medicines.

Mike Beale, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK

Carole Bewley, National Institutes of Health, USA

Vanderlan da Silva Bolzani, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil

Robert Britton, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Margaret A Brimble, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Timothy D H Bugg, University of Warwick, UK

Guy Carter, Carter-Bernan Consulting, New City, NY, USA

Russell Cox, University of Bristol, UK

Pieter Dorrestein, University of California, San Diego, USA

Robert A Field, John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

Rajesh Gokhale, Institute of Genomics & Integrative Biology, Delhi, India

Rebecca Goss, St. Andrews University, UK

James R Hanson, University of Sussex, UK

Alan Harvey, University of Strathclyde, UK

Seth Herzon, Yale University, USA

Masayuki Inoue, University of Tokyo, Japan

David Jakeman, Dalhousie University, Canada

Marcel Jaspars, University of Aberdeen, UK

David G I Kingston, Virginia Tech, USA

Andreas Kirschning, University of Hannover, Germany

Harold Kohn, University of North Carolina, USA

Finian J Leeper, University of Cambridge, UK

Dawei Ma, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, China

John Mann, Queen's University Belfast, UK

Joseph P Michael, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Michio Murata, Osaka University, Japan

Bastien Nay, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, CNRS, France

Sarah O'Connor, University of East Anglia, UK

David O'Hagan, University of St Andrews, UK

Andrew Phillips, Yale University, USA

Jörn Piel, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Georg Pohnert, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany

Emma Raven, University of Leicester, UK

Jürgen Rohr, University of Kentucky, USA

Christopher J Schofield, University of Oxford, UK

Stefan Schulz, TU Braunschweig, Germany

Michael Sherburn, Australia National University, Australia

Thomas J Simpson, University of Bristol, UK

Sheo Singh, Merck & Co., Rahway, USA

Renxiang Tan, Nanjing University, China

DirkTrauner, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich, Germany

Chris Vanderwal, University of California, Irvine, USA

John C Vederas, University of Alberta, Canada

Clay Wang, University of Southern California, USA

Kira Weissman, Lorraine University, France

Yeo Joon Yoon, Ewha Womans University, Korea



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