The research on the biological activity of natural products and biomaterials is becoming year
by year more competitive and complex, and involves experts in different research fields, including
chemists, biochemists, molecular biologists, immunologists and bioinformatics. While unfractionated
natural products exhibit “per se” biological properties relevant for alternative therapeutic treatments of
human diseases, the identification of lead compounds within these products, the characterization of molecular
targets and studies of structurally-related molecules are key processes to develop novel therapeutic
strategies. Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease caused by mutations of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane
Conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene. It is well established that three major fields of therapeutic
intervention should be considered, targeting CFTR, bacterial infection and inflammation. In this review,
we describe natural products reported to be very useful tools for correction of pathological conditions
related to cystic fibrosis. The main topics are (a) CFTR potentiation and correction using natural products,
(b) natural products as antibacterial agents and (c) natural products exhibiting anti-inflammatory
activity. The recent issues of waste utilization and drug repurposing are also discussed in the context of
the development of possible therapeutic approaches for cystic fibrosis.
Keywords: Cystic fibrosis, CFTR potentiation, CFTR correction, inflammation, antibacterial agents, drug repurposing.
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