Identification of marine antioxidants
Townsend, Brigitte E.
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Pharmaceutical science has benefited from the variety of bioactive lead compounds discovered in marine organisms over the past several decades. The remarkable structural diversity of marine secondary metabolites brings marine natural product chemistry to the forefront of drug discovery. In search of novel therapeutic interventions, marine natural products research has converged with antioxidant studies to form an exciting new research focus. Phenolic antioxidants and indole alkaloids are among the most bioactive classes of marine metabolite, but relatively little has been done to thoroughly investigate the biomedical potential of organisms containing these types of metabolites. In this study, several compounds representing both of these structural classes were identified in marine sponges collected from the Western Atlantic. Several of the compounds were found to have high antioxidant potential when screened with the ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay. Antioxidant activity of marine samples was detected primarily in shallow and intermediate-water sponges, but no correlation was found between activity and fraction polarity.