Bioactive alkaloids from the sea: A review

Makoto Kuramoto, Hirokazu Arimoto, Daisuke Uemura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


In our ongoing search for bioactive substances from marine organisms, novel alkaloids have been isolated. Pinnatoxins and pinnamine, potent shellfish poisons, were purified from the Okinawan bivalve Pinna muricata. Pinnatoxins activate Ca2+ channels. Halichlorine was isolated from the marine sponge Halichondria okadai. This compound inhibits the induction of VCAM-1. Drugs that block VCAM-1 may be useful for treating coronary artery diseases, angina, and noncardiovascular inflammatory diseases. Pinnaic acids, which are cPLA2 inhibitors, were also obtained from P. muricata. Interestingly, the structures of pinnaic acids are closely related to that of halichlorine. Norzoanthamine hydrochloride, isolated from the colonial zoanthid Zoanthus sp., suppresses decreases in bone weight and strength in ovariectomized mice, and could be a good candidate for an osteoporotic drug. Ircinamine, purified from the marine sponge Ircinia sp., has a reactive thioester. Aburatubolactams, inhibitors of superoxide anion generation, were isolated from Streptomyces sp. This article covers the bioactive marine alkaloids that have been recently isolated by this research group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-54
Number of pages16
JournalMarine Drugs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar


  • Anti-Osteoporosis
  • CPLA
  • Ca channel
  • Superoxide anion
  • VCAM-1


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