Marine organisms have been developed as a new source of naturally occurring alkaloids. The bioactive scaffolds
of marine alkaloids govern the cross-kingdom actions, possessing “unexpectedly” cytotoxic-related antitumor activities
against human cancer cell lines. And the actions of marine alkaloids toward mammalian cells have been well substantiated
by the recognition of their analogues as antitumor and enzyme modulatory agents. Different moieties of alkaloids
target different cellular pathways. Structure-activity studies and docking analysis of marine alkaloids analogs attached importance
to certain privileged moieties, and illustrated the mechanism of alkaloids’ functionalization in mammals. The
fascinating observations prompted us to review five kinds of alkaloid-like moieties including thiazole, pyrroloquinon, oxazole,
pyridine and indole, and illuminate suggestively their various roles in common cellular processes of human beings.
Meanwhile, an hypothesis was made correlatively to explain the different mechanisms of their anticancer activities in human
Keywords: Marine alkaloids, anticancer agents, structure-activity studies, docking analysis, anticancer mechanisms.
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