Natural products (NPs) are combinatorial chemical libraries with diversities in chemical structures and pharmacological activities. Screening active compounds is in many cases an important factor in drug discovery. It was not easy to screen out the bioactive compounds from complex extracts consisting of many NPs. Development of rapid, effective and accurate methods is in high demand. During last decades, mass spectrometry (MS)-based strategies, combining isolation, structures, and bioactivity in a single run, were programmed in the NPs screening. The current article reviews different assay formats and applications of MS-based methods for screening of active NPs. This review is divided into three sections based on methods classification. The first part introduces binding-based screening methods that directly assess the binding characteristics of a candidate molecule to its target. The second part describes function-based screening methods that monitor the functional output of a target-dependent biochemical reaction. The third part briefly discusses serum pharmacochemistry-based screening methods that analyze absorbed components and metabolites in plasma after oral administration of NPs extracts.
Natural products, mass spectrometry, binding-based screening, function-based screening, serum pharmacochemistry, throughput screening, HTS, TOF, serum pharmacochemistry-based screening, NP-based drug screening., chromatogram, CPDBD, Radix Angelica Sinensis, DAD-ELSD, ESI, Panax notoginseng, Zedoariae rhizoma, ESI-FTICR-MS, multi-target affinity/specificity screening, Streptomyces rimosus, size exclusion chromatography, SEC, MALDI, xanthohumol, Ultrafiltration-MS, Lonicera japonica, Microdialysis-MS, Frontal Affinity Chromatography, Phyllanthus urinaria L, Two-Dimensional Turbulent Flow Chromatography (2D-TFC)-MS, Enzyme Inhibitor Screening, Huperzia serrata, HPLC, Antioxidant Screening, Angelica sinensis
Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicines (China Pharmaceutical University), Ministry of Education and Department of Pharmacognosy, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing 210009, China.