Life sciences

Exploring the potential of marine microbes in clinical management of Alzheimer's disease: A road map for bioprospecting and identifying promising isolates.

PMID 30031811


Pervasiveness of Alzheimer's disease (AD) across the globe is on rise, devitalizing the essential brain functions of the afflicted individual. Multiple neurological pathways viz., cholinergic, amyloidogenic and tau protein pathways underlying the disease and interdependence make it more complex to develop effective treatment strategies. Existing drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease majorly belong to the class of cholinergic inhibitors which improve the behavioral symptoms. But there are no drugs that could arrest the disease progression. Inhibition of beta secretase enzyme could prevent the deposition of amyloid plaques in the neurons, thereby arresting the disease progression. Search for novel drugs to treat the underlying pathogenesis of the disease is pivotal in this day and age. The source of most active lead molecules discovered recently is from the nature. Marine ecosystem provides a plethora of pharmacologically lead molecules from various living organisms inhabiting the sea. Among all, marine microbes are the most under-explored and indispensable source of many bioactive metabolites. Studies have been reported on potent metabolites from marine microbes which could inhibit the key enzymes involved in the AD pathogenesis. The advancement in microbial bioprospecting and molecular biology techniques have eased the process of cultivation and identification of microbes, isolation of novel bioactive metabolites of clinical use. Exploring such marine natural resources for pharmacological lead molecules could give a breakthrough in the drug discovery domain for treating AD such debilitating diseases. In this review, a comprehensive account of bioprospecting methods and reports of marine microbial isolates are discussed.