Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Understudied Phylum Bryozoa as a Promising Source of Anticancer Drugs

Version 1 : Received: 2 June 2019 / Approved: 4 June 2019 / Online: 4 June 2019 (12:55:33 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Figuerola, B.; Avila, C. The Phylum Bryozoa as a Promising Source of Anticancer Drugs. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 477. Figuerola, B.; Avila, C. The Phylum Bryozoa as a Promising Source of Anticancer Drugs. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 477.


Recent advances in sampling and novel techniques in drug synthesis and isolation have promoted the discovery of anticancer agents from marine organisms to combat this major threat to public health worldwide. Bryozoans, filter-feeding, sessile aquatic invertebrates often characterized by a calcified skeleton, are an excellent source of pharmacologically interesting compounds including well-known chemical classes such as alkaloids and polyketides. This review covers the literature for secondary metabolites isolated from marine cheilostome and ctenostome bryozoans that have shown potential as cancer drugs. Moreover, we highlight examples such as bryostatins, the most known class of marine-derived compounds from this animal phylum, which is advancing through anticancer clinical trials due to their low toxicity and antineoplastic activity. The bryozoan antitumour compounds discovered until now show a wide range of chemical diversity and biological activities. Therefore, more research focusing on the isolation of secondary metabolites with potential anticancer properties from bryozoans and other overlooked taxa covering wider geographic areas is needed for an efficient bioprospecting of natural products.


antitumour compounds; marine natural products; bioactivity; cytotoxicity; marine invertebrates


Chemistry and Materials Science, Organic Chemistry

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