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Pure Appl. Chem., 2003, Vol. 75, No. 2-3, pp. 343-352

Detection of pharmacologically active natural products using ecology. Selected examples from Indopacific marine invertebrates and sponge-derived fungi

P. Proksch1*, R. Ebel2, R. A. Edrada1, P. Schupp2, W. H. Lin3, Sudarsono4, V. Wray5 and K. Steube6

1 Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Universitätsstrasse 1 Geb. 26.23, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany
2 Centre for Marine Biofouling and Bio-Innovation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052 Australia
3 National Research Laboratories of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, Peking University, No. 8 Xueyang Road, 100083 Beijing, PR China
4 Centre for Traditional Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
5 Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung mbH, Mascheroder Weg 1, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany
6 DSMZ, Mascheroder Weg 1b, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany

Abstract: This review article presents our group's recent research findings with regard to bioactive natural products from marine sponges and tunicates, as well as from sponge derived fungi. The organisms discussed originate in the Indopacific region, which has an exceptionally rich marine biodiversity. Major topics that are covered in our review include the chemical ecology of sponges, focusing on defense against fishes, as well as the isolation and identification of new bioactive constituents from sponges and tunicates. Sponge derived fungi are introduced as an emerging source for new bioactive metabolites, reflecting the currently growing interest in natural products from marine microorganisms.