Multi-target activities of selected alkaloids and terpenoids
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© 2017 Bentham Science Publishers A majority of the world¿s population continues to use traditional natural medicines based on the established knowledge of local plants for the treatment of various disease states. Often the same plant is recognized having several traditional uses. For the past few decades, the idea of ¿one drug, one activity, one disease¿ has dominated drug discovery in Western medicine, the so-called ¿magic bullet¿ approach. However, this view has been transformed through the discovery of the multi-targeting of bioactive compounds, which has opened up new areas for pharmaceutical development wherein the same drug may be simultaneously approved for the treatment of different diseases. Pursuing that discovery pathway, a wide variety of natural products have been evaluated for their multiple biological characteristics, such as analgesic, anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant effects, among others. This mini-review highlights some of the recent findings concerning multi-target bioactive, plant-derived metabolites with a special emphasis on alkaloids and terpenoids. The alkaloids selected were colchicine, capsaicin, and vincristine, while the terpenoids chosen were artemisinin, taxol (paclitaxel), and masticadienonic acid. Issues relating to the sustainability of supply, and the efficiency of future drug discovery based on network pharmacology approaches are also mentioned.